What are the Essential Qualities of a National Level Biodiversity Conservation Regime? – Lessons for Singapore and Other Countries
NUS Asia-Pacific Centre for Environment Law Working Paper 23/01
34 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2023
Date Written: January 6, 2023
This paper delves into the four qualities needed by all national level biodiversity conservation regimes and evaluates the extent to which they manifest in Singapore’s regime. The four qualities are distilled from a review of academic literature, as well as literature by jurists and policymakers. Further, it includes a review of national biodiversity conservation regimes from several nations, representing both the Global North and Global South.
The paper argues that the four essential qualities of a national biodiversity conservation regime are (1) reliable science-driven and transparent decision making, (2) clarity in language, substance and purpose, (3) robust avenues for enforcement, and (4) feasibility. These qualities exist to varying degrees in existing biodiversity conservation regimes globally and examples are explored to further the arguments made.
Concurrently, this paper evaluates Singapore’s biodiversity conservation regime with respect to the extent to which each quality manifests. This paper concludes with a tabulation of the state of these qualities in Singapore, along with recommendations for improvement. While Singapore’s biodiversity conservation regime does well, it has room to improve; particularly in increasing the ease of and avenues for enforcement, lowering the weightage of economic goals against conservation, as well as addressing certain legislative and policy gaps.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Conservation, Legislation, Policy, Key qualities, Singapore, Global
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