Ark of the Broken Covenant: Protecting the World's Biodiversity Hotspots

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Blending scientific and legal expertise, Kunich proves that a devastating ecological crisis is imminent or even underway already, and that conservation law has yet to catch up with biological science. He challenges readers with a hotspots wager, arguing that he have vastly more to gain than lose by legally protecting biological hotspots, and that foregoing them in favor of the relatively minor and immediate returns arising from their devastation is both foolish and, ultimately, dangerous.

Legal thought lags behind modern science in focusing on and setting priorities for global conservation. An extinction spasm is imminent, many scientists argue, due to the ongoing global devastation of biological hotspots, home to a disproportionate share of all life forms, including perhaps millions of unknown species. These hotspots have already lost 88 percent of their primary vegetation and are likely to lose much more, yet few legal measures exist to protect them. Environmental legal protections are often incomprehensive and feebly enforced. Even worse, 62 percent of all hotspots are unprotected. Kunich provides a brief history and science of extinction. He discusses the importance of saving species from extinction and analyzes the legal measures directed toward preserving biodiversity in nations that harbor hotspots.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275978402
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Series: Issues in Comparative Public Law
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN Charles KUNICH is Associate Professor of Law, Appalachian School of Law, Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Dedication and Acknowledgments
Series Foreword
Ch. 1 Extinction and the Biodiversity Hotspots 1
Ch. 2 The Hotspots 29
Ch. 3 Burn Control? Current International Law Relevant to Hotspots Preservation 45
Ch. 4 Biodiversity Preservation, Nation by Nation 91
Ch. 5 A Legal Proposal for Saving the Planet: The Vital Ecosystems Preservation Act 143
Ch. 6 To Be or Not to Be 167
Conclusion 197
Index 203
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2003

    Ark of the Broken Covenant

    What is a hotspot and why do I care? Why should it matter to me where money is spent in finding and protecting the earth¿s resources? These questions, for me, were answered in John Charles Kunich¿s book ¿Ark of the Broken Covenant¿. In words and phrases aimed at dissemination of information, John Kunich allows the gentle reader to enter into a world of Global warfare. `To maintain the legal status quo for the hotspots is to sign a death warrant.¿ Issues that up to now were not in the forefront of the mind are explained in such a way that by the time you are finished reading you also are ready to take up the cause to make sure that no more of our precious resources are decimated. Everyone needs to know what we are allowing to go to extinction because of our ignorance. You need to read this book. You should have read it yesterday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    Practical Steps for Biodiversity

    I found Professor Kunich¿s new book to be an important contribution to the ecological movement. For all who care about preservation of diverse flora and fauna, this book is a must read. Professor Kunich first analyzes what is wrong with the current approach from both the biological and legal aspects. The current focus on saving individual species is not efficient because first knowledge of the existence of a species, then documentation of its endangered status, is a prerequisite to preservation efforts. The current legal scheme falls short because it is entirely voluntary and filled with so many loopholes that render all international treaties meaningless when the nations that most need to follow them choose not to. To improve worldwide biodiversity efforts, Professor Kunich advocates switching to focus on select areas that harbor a large number of varied species, both known and unknown. By prioritizing these areas and concentrating resources, we can do the most good with limited resources. To achieve this, Professor Kunich provides detailed recommendations for enabling legislation in Congress and how to structure responsibility in the U.S. government. The final part of his recommendations offers suggestions on how the U.S. can encourage developing nations to support this scheme through financial incentives. ¿Ark of the Broken Covenant¿ is an outstanding book offering practical steps to protect our cohabitants on this planet. It is a call to action.

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