Inderscience Publishers

The overexploitation and illegal trade of Prunus africana in the protected areas in the light of international environmental law (a case study of the Democratic Republic of Congo)

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The increasing demand in natural resources for various reasons has driven humanity to unsustainable consumption of natural capital. Meanwhile, the emerging concept of 'sustainability', which emphasises on the intersection and balance between economy, society and environment, is becoming a gospel. The Brundtland report defines sustainable development as 'development, which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Brundtland, 1987). Hence, two ethical elements have been drawn: the intra-generational justice or equity and the inter-generational justice. The latter element of the inter-generational justice, which links with the concern for future generations, is a key point in international environmental law. Therefore, this study will cover the overexploitation and illegal trade of Prunus africana in Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega national parks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the legal framework which regulates the preservation and trade of wild flora and fauna under the convention on International trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna (CITES) from 1996-2009.

Keywords: DR Congo, CITES, Prunus africana, overexploitation, illegal trade, sustainable development, international law, environmental law, protected areas, principles, cooperation, sustainability, national parks, exploitation, wild flora and fauna, endangered species, international trade

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