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Marine Protected Areas: The Chagos Case and the Need to Marry International Environmental Law with Indigenous Rights

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AbstractIn the race to meet environmental goals within approaching deadlines set by international conventions, missing the bigger picture and focusing on one complex issue amongst an interconnected array of complexities in a given context is easy to do. The marine environment is an example of such a context where the 2012 target for establishing networks of Marine Protected Areas set by the Convention on Biological Diversity and World Summit on Sustainable Development have resulted in a recent scamper for “bigger is better” and “no-take is best” policies underpinning Marine Protected Area implementation. Whilst the environmental benefits are highly commendable, the consequential absence of due regard for stakeholder interests, the implications for the access and benefit sharing provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as indigenous rights at international law are grave concerns which are explored through this Article.

Affiliations: 1: University of New South


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