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by Meinhard Doelle, Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada & Sara L. Seck, Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Research at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada*
Efforts to deal effectively with loss and damage (L&D) in the UN climate regime, and to provide for avenues to remedy associated harms, have so far failed. While these efforts are ongoing, it is becoming increasingly clear that a broad range of international regimes and domestic legal systems will be challenged to respond to calls for appropriate remedies for those harmed by L&D. L&D is not defined in the UN climate regime. It has been suggested in the literature, however, that the phrase loss and damage recognizes two categories of harm. One category involves permanent harm, or irrecoverable loss, such as the loss of landmass from sea level rise. The second category involves reparable or recoverable damage, such as shoreline damage from storms.
by Dr. Elli Louka, President, Law-in-Action, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Unimproved germplasm, the way found in nature, and landraces cultivated by farmers around the world for years, were, till the adoption of the Biodiversity Convention, a free access resource. Improved germplasm, by breeding or bio-engineering, on the other hand, is often protected by patents or other sui generis intellectual property rights (IPRs). The power of the seed industry, the industry that has acquired IPRs over most of the improved germplasm, has increased dramatically. Five big companies, Syngenta (owned by ChemChina), Bayer (Germany), Corteva (US, a spinoff of DowDuPont) and BASF (Germany) control a sizeable piece of the total seed market and 90 percent of the agrochemical market. The oligopolistic nature of the seed industry makes improved germplasm often prohibitively expensive for the farmers of the developing countries.
by Dr. Alexandros Kailis, Senior Research Fellow, MEPIELAN Centre, Special Adviser on International & European Affairs, Presidency of the Hellenic Government
The European Union and the countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States officially opened negotiations for the conclusion of a new Partnership Agreement in New York on 28 September 2018 in the margins of the UN General Assembly. The new agreement will enter into effect after 2020, following the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement on 29 February 2020. The Cotonou Agreement was adopted in June 2000, and entered into force in April 2003. To date, it is the most comprehensive and balanced partnership agreement between the EU and developing countries. It determines the legal regime and general governance framework applicable to EU relations with ACP countries on a wide range of policy issues focused on: the eradication of poverty, the promotion of sustainable development from an economic, social, environmental and cultural perspective, and the progressive integration of ACP countries into the global economic system.
by Dr. Aggelina Metaxatos, Research Scientific Staff, Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD) of National Observatory of Athens (NOA)
Humanity has waged long wars against many different, sometimes imaginary threats. In 1958, in the Republic of China, a relentless four-year war was waged against an animal species that would hardly be declared an enemy: the little sparrow. The real cause of this war was the miserable policy of the Party that threatened China with famine. The "enemy" was none other than the endemic arboreal sparrow: a small, cowardly bird that had the misfortune to be included in the" Four Pests Campaign" along with mosquitoes, flies, and rats, well-known carriers of dangerous pathogens. Mao's authority declared war because the "experts" defined the sparrow as a competitive species in grain farming.The leader's authority and the "excellence" of the party turned China's people into a ruthless killer of millions of small birds, which caused a severe ecological disaster and the great Chinese famine.
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