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Authors

Lisa Meissner

Abstract

This Note examines the role of international law and human rights in the conservation of global biodiversity as an element of our shared cultural heritage. International instruments like the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the World Heritage Convention have changed the discourse of international conservation law by connecting natural resources, including animal species, to incentives-based structures in local or regional communities. Such a legal foundation is critical to engaging with evolving international concepts of sustainable development and rural livelihoods protection that promote making biodiversity conservation cognizably valuable to humanity, both tangibly and intangibly. To explore the connection between natural heritage and cultural heritage, this Note analyzes international treaties, customary international law, and human rights principles. It draws these three spheres together to conclude that a philosophical integration of law and nature is necessary in the international community to prevent irreparable harm to both our common natural patrimony and ourselves.

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