Application of the 'Precautionary Principle' in the 2000 Biosafety Protocol to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity

De Gruyter Recht
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Brown Simon and Hassan Daud 2005, 'Application of the "Precautionary Principle" in the 2000 Biosafety Protocol to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity', De Gruyter Recht, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 112-116.
Issue Date:
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The development of genetic manlpulation in recent years has caused both angst and excitement. The technology has the potential to solve world hunger and create cures for many of humanities ailments. However many have also expressed concern that our understanding of the potential of the technology to cause significant environmental harm is limited. The possibility that this harm could extend beyond national boundaries has led to the technology being discussed in the international environmental law arena. The Biosafety Protocol1is a result of nations coming together to regulate so as to minimise the potential harm and maximise the potential gains from this emerging technology. This Article will initially detail the evolution of the precautionary principle (henceforth, 'the principle'). It will then describe the Convention on Biological Diversity2and the ProtocolJin parts 3 and 4. Part 5 details the application of'the principle' in the Protocol4 and part 6 finishes by concluding that while the ProtocolScould be stronger it still represents a significant step in the adoption of a precautionary approach in relation to biotechnology.
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