: New features of compliance with international environmental law

Intersections, interactions, and conflicts

1 Introduction

Compliance with international environmental law (IEL) provide fertile ground for intersections with other areas of international law. Indeed, the interface between compliance with IEL and commitments undertaken by States in other areas of IL are expressed in either positive or negative interactions. In positive terms, there are synergies or mutual reinforcements, and in negative terms, conflicts or mutually excluding regimes may arise. In one way or another, the numerous existing interactions demonstrate that IEL compliance is multifaceted, and it takes place at different levels (local, regional, national, international, and transnational), the result of different dynamics.

In ensuring compliance with IEL, other branches of international law become relevant, such as international economic law, international energy law and international human rights law. These are the areas of international law in which the interactions with IEL are more accentuated.

Interfaces between IEL and other branches of IL also exist. The international legal body of cultural heritage law offers interesting ramifications as there is a cultural dimension in the international protection of the environment, particularly in what concerns the international legal framework for the protection and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH).1 Equally important are the interlinkages between IEL and the emerging area of animal law which are gaining more significance. Other sub-fields of international law, such as international intellectual property (IP) law also have implications for IEL in terms of international patent protection and technological innovation.[1]

Keeping with the purpose of the book, the focus will be placed on the areas in which more interactions in terms of compliance are observed. To this end, the following sections address these various interactions, illustrating the analysis with cases.

  • [1] See Lucas Lixinski, Intangible Cultural Heritage in International Law (Oxford University Press 2013). Lisa Rogers» ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage and International Environmental Law: The Cultural Dimension of Environmental Protection’ (2017) 29 Historic Environment, pp. 30-43. 2 See Pierre-Marie Dupuy and J. Vinuales, ‘Intellectual Property Rights and the Environment’» in International Environmental Law (Oxford University Press 2015), pp. 403-413. Claudio Chiarolla, ‘Intellectual Property from a Global Environmental Law Perspective: Lessons from Patent Disclosure Requirements for Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge’ (2019) 8(3) Transnational Environmental Law, pp. 503-521.