Law is one of the most powerful tools available to safeguard and protect biological resources. There is a need for an international legal regime that promotes environmental justice and intergenerational equity.
The strategy would involve the review and updating of existing national legislation to reflect biological diversity needs and introduce new legislation where appropriate. It would also involved identifying the necessary changes in legislation, programmes and political actions for the conservation and sustainable use and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of biodiversity. This should include addressing the policy, organisational and management factors affecting the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity within countries, in the context of economic globalization.
Conflicts exist between the rules of trade agreements and multilateral environmental agreements, such as the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances, the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species. These agreements are designed to conserve and protect human, animal and plant life and health. The rules of trade in multilateral economic agreements, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), undermine the environmental agreements.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is developing international environmental standards for all businesses participating in international trade. The standards will cover areas such as environmental management procedures, ecolabelling, and environmental auditing.