Golden Gate University Law Review


This Article undertakes a broad, synoptic evaluation of America's complex response to the Convention. It paints an intricate picture of American legal and policy initiatives, on multiple levels, for enhanced domestic and international protection of biodiversity juxtaposed with concomitant legal and policy footdragging. Part I limns, in bold lines, the basic structure of the matter: initially it provides a brief overview of the genesis and contents of the CBD; then,' it sketches a chronological synopsis of America's formal and informal response to the CBD. Part II adds some detailed brushwork: it attempts to deepen understanding of the various tensions, concerns, interests and legal-policy dimensions of America's multi-faceted response to the Convention. This discussion will demonstrate that there has not been a monolithic negative American reaction to the CBD but, rather, a variety of American responses that includes several positive aspects. Part III devotes a corner of the epistemological canvas to open up a frame on the future: it discusses such topics as the importance of American leadership and engagement in formal international environmental diplomacy and lawmaking; the wildcard implications of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America's willingness and need to exercise leadership in implementing the CBD. Finally, it offers some pragmatic suggestions for reconfiguring America's response to the Convention.

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