The Biodiversity Convention (1992) is the first law of its kind, to recognize that the conservation of biological diversity should be a common concern for all of humanity and is a fundamental component of the development process. The Convention was designed to remind legislatures and corporations that natural resources are finite and projects a philosophy of sustainable use. The Convention covers all ecosystems, species and genetic resources as well as pairing together conservation efforts with economic ideals while using ensuring the responsible use of biological resources. The more recent Convention on Biological Diversity of 2010 would place restrictions and bans on some forms of geoengineering.
Some of the issues addressed by the Convention and recent applications:
- The measurement and incentives provided for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
A 2011 study explores the sustainability of pikeperch, taking into account the survival rates between wild and stocked fish. Study found that stocked fish did not increase or improve yields and recommends an increase in minimum size limit in order to improve both the ecological and evolutionary sustainability of fisheries.
Reference: Vainikka, Anssi, & Hyvärinen, Pekka. 2011. Ecologically and evolutionarily sustainable fishing of the pikeperch Sander lucioperca: Lake Oulujärvi as an example. Fisheries Research 113(1):8-20.[doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2003.10.071]
- Restricted access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge.
Andre Crump, President and founder of the “DNA Copyright Institute” seeks to assist both celebrities and average citizens obtain legal rights over their DNA profiles. For a small fee, a person can own the DNA “copyrights” top their own genetic code. Previous laws concerning gene patents have only been awarded to isolated sequences with known functions and synthetic. A provision of these patents stipulates that the patents cannot be used on naturally occurring genes in both humans or other organisms.
- Impact assessment.Global warming has been a hot-button topic for many years. In 2011, a group of researchers explored the long term effects of global warming on receding glaciers by monitoring the growth and development of the newly formed streams with older streams. This study examined the theoretical similarities in macroinvertebrate community and the biological trait compositions of both streams in similar stages of development. This study found that the most abundant taxa was similar and that the functional diversity of the two streams was nearly identical. The similarities in communities raise concerns across the watershed regarding the conservation of biodiversity in freshwater habitats.
Reference: Milner, Alexander M., Anne L. Robertson, Lee E. Brown, Svein Harald Sønderland, Michael McDermott, and Amanda J. Veal. 2011. Evolution of a stream ecosystem in recently deglaciated terrain. Ecology 92:1924–1935. [doi:10.1890/10-2007.1]