n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The Biosafety Protocol and the promotion of sustainable development : with one hand it giveth, with the Savings Clause it taketh away?

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The purpose of this article is analyse the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in the context of its contribution to sustainable development. Using the author's conceptualisation of sustainable development developed through a series of previous publications, the article considers the kinds of trade-offs and compromises that are made between environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development. In furtherance of this objective the article focuses on the preabular recitals deal the potential conflict between trade regimes and the Protocol. In addition various provisions of the Protocol impacting on the trade development debate are considered. The article concludes by suggesting that the Protocol adopts a two-tiered approach to the trade development conflict. Moreover, this adoption of the two tiered approach to the trade-development illustrates the need to adopt a nuanced conceptualisation of sustainable development. Finally the article concludes that the Biosafaety Protocol adopts an economic growth centred model of sustainable development.

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