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Claremont Mckenna College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management


The rapid expansion of the biosciences has led many to turn to nature in search of genetic resources of commercial value. Bioprospecting, or the search for plants and animals from which commercially valuable compounds can be obtained, is often a transnational activity. Four-fifths of the world’s biodiversity is found in developing countries, and those searching to exploit the biodiversity of these nations overwhelmingly tend to come from developed, wealthy countries. This asymmetry, when coupled with the lack of institutional legislative frameworks and regulation, creates a plethora of user/host conflicts. This paper seeks to examine the current state of affairs regarding environmental law in Madagascar as it relates to management of bioprospecting and genetic resource use conflicts. Firstly, it will examine international and domestic environmental law – with an emphasis on the recently ratified Convention on Biodiversity and the Nagoya Protocol. Secondly, non-governmental contractual agreements between local and foreign entities will be examined, with an emphasis on the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group as a case study. The study will conclude with suggestions, warnings, and potential future research opportunities.


African Studies | Environmental Law


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