1st Edition

The Use of Biodiversity in International Law A Genealogy of Genetic Gold

By Andreas Kotsakis Copyright 2021
    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book presents a legal genealogy of biodiversity – of its strategic use before and after the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1993.

    This history of ‘genetic gold’ details how, with the aid of international law, the idea of biodiversity has been instrumentalized towards political and economic aims. A study of the strategic utility of biodiversity, rather than the utility of its protection under international law, the book’s focus is not, therefore, on the sustainable or non-sustainable use of biodiversity as a natural resource, but rather on its historical use as an intellectual resource. Although biodiversity is still not being effectively conserved, nor sustainably used, the Convention on Biological Diversity and its parent regime persists, now after several decades of operation. This book provides the comprehensive answer to the question of the convention’s continued existence.

    Drawing from environmental history, the philosophy of science, political economy and development studies, this book will be of interest to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in Environmental Law, International Law, Environmental Studies, and Ecology.

    1. The ‘Undead’ Convention and Environmental Reason 

    2. Lambswool into Synthetic: Early Programmes  

    3. The Glare of International Law and the Grand Bargain  

    4. The Genetic Gold Rush 

    5. The Regulation of Genetic Gold 

    6.Conclusion - Still Here


    Andreas Kotsakis is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Oxford Brookes University, UK.