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Transboundary biosphere reserves: a new framework for cooperation

  • JULIET J. FALL (a1)


Despite the increasing call for cooperation amongst the states parties to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (UNTS 3069; see especially its Articles 5, 17, 18 and 20), the management of protected areas adjacent to political borders is rarely thought of as a common necessity for neighbouring countries. Setting up a zone dedicated to conservation is already a formidable challenge in the face of strongly competing interests for land. Bringing this about with two or more sovereign states sometimes seems a ‘gratuitous layer of complexity that spells almost certain failure’ (Westing 1998b). Nevertheless, transboundary protected areas are becoming increasingly common (IUCN, unpublished 1998). In fact, no less than 136 such protected area complexes involving over 406 individual protected areas and 112 different international boundaries (Zbicz & Green 1997) have been identified around the world. If proposed areas are also included, this figure can be pushed up to 200 complexes (Brunner 1998).



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