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8 - The Convention on Nature Protection and Wildlife Preservation in the Western Hemisphere

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2011

Michael Bowman
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
Peter Davies
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
Catherine Redgwell
Affiliation:
University College London
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Summary

Background

In December 1938 the Eighth International Conference of American States met in Lima and recommended that the Pan American Union establish a committee of experts to study problems relating to nature and wildlife in the American republics and prepare a draft convention for their protection. Pursuant to this recommendation, the Convention on Nature Protection and Wildlife Preservation in the Western Hemisphere (the Western Hemisphere Convention) was concluded and opened for signature to member states of the Pan American Union (now the Organization of American States, and hereinafter referred to as the OAS) on 12 October 1940. It entered into force on 30 April 1942. It has been signed by twenty-two member states of the OAS and ratified by nineteen of them, the last ratification being that by Suriname in 1985.

The Western Hemisphere Convention was a visionary instrument, well ahead of its time in terms of the concepts it espouses. The protection of species from human-induced extinction, the establishment of protected areas, the regulation of international trade in wildlife, special measures for migratory birds and stressing the need for co-operation in scientific research and other fields are all elements of wildlife conservation which are covered by the Convention – many of them for the first time by an international treaty – and which have reappeared time and again in other conventions concluded since 1940.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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References

Rogers, K. and Moore, J. A., ‘Revitalizing the Convention on Nature Protection and Wildlife Preservation in the Western Hemisphere: Might Awakening a Visionary but “Sleeping” Treaty Be the Key to Preserving Biodiversity and Threatened Natural Areas in the Americas?’ (1995) 36 Harv. IL465Google Scholar
Sheinin, D., ‘Wilderness and Pan American Preservation, 1910–1948’, paper presented at the Latin American Studies Association, XXI International Congress, Chicago, Illinois, 24–6 September 1998 (available at http://168.96.200.17/ar/libros/lasa98/Sheinin.pdf)
Treaties and other International Agreements on Fisheries, Oceanographic Resources and Wildlife Involving the United States (US Government Printing Office, 1977) p. 150
Klemm, C., ‘Migratory Species in International Law’ (1989) 29 Natl Resources J. 935Google Scholar
Freese, C., ‘The Western Hemisphere Convention: International Framework for Wildlife Conservation’ (January 1982) 7(1) Endangered Species Technical Bulletin (Department of the Interior, Washington DC), pp. 4–5Google Scholar
,US Fisheries and Wildlife Service, Wildlife without Borders – Latin America and the Caribbean (US Fisheries and Wildlife Service, 2001), p. 11Google Scholar
,US Fisheries and Wildlife Service, Wildlife without Borders: Latin America and the Caribbean (US Fisheries and Wildlife Service, 2008)Google Scholar
Miller, K., Chang, E. and Johnson, L., Defining Common Ground for the MesoAmerican Biological Corridor (World Resources Institute, 2001Google Scholar
Sands, P., Principles of International Environmental Law (Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., 2003), pp. 529–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
(1993) 3 Yb. Int'l Env. L 1992 p. 373
Naro-Maciel, E., ‘The Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles: An Historical Overview’ (1998) 1 Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilson, J., ‘The Commission for Environmental Cooperation and North American Migratory Bird Conservation: The Potential of the NAAEC Citizen Submission Procedure’ (2003) 6(3) Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy205CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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