International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The North-South Political Dynamics Undermining the Effectiveness of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity
Nsikan-Abasi Odong

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity (the Biosafety Protocol)1is an international instrument which aims to protect the environment from the adverse effects of biotechnology. On certain critical issues, however, the Biosafety Protocol comes short, owing to the way some of its Articles were crafted to accommodate the opposing views of the developed (the North) and developing (the South) nations and this has hindered its effectiveness. The paper argues, therefore, that the economic interests of the Northern and Southern Countries had influenced the couching of some of the provisions of the Biosafety Protocol, thereby compromising the effectiveness of the instrument. The paper argues, additionally, that the interest of the North was to advance trade at the detriment of environmental safety while the South desired that environment should trump over trade and the trade-offs over these views ultimately shaped the couching of some of the Biosafety Protocol’s Articles. The paper will employ the Law and Economics Methodology to canvass arguments to buttress these points. The paper will specifically employ the “Public Choice Theory” (Rationality Approach) to show that the Biosafety Protocol was deliberately undermined during its negotiation, thereby curtailing its effectiveness. Law and Economics Methodology will allow me to canvass these arguments from the “Rationality” perspective. There is no gainsaying the people living in the Southern hemisphere, are, arguably, most vulnerable to environmental problems and exposures, as such, the essence of the Article is to expose these dynamics in real terms, proffering solutions on how to redeem the situation and offering as it were, tips on how to avoid such pitfalls in the future.

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