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Evaluating biosecurity law and regulation in developing countries: case studies from Belize

Evaluating biosecurity law and regulation in developing countries: case studies from Belize

Outhwaite, Opi Maryse (2006) Evaluating biosecurity law and regulation in developing countries: case studies from Belize. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Biosecurity is the term used to refer to the management of risks to human, animal and plant health and safety from cross-border movement of living organisms and goods. The implementation of national legal and regulatory frameworks for Biosecurity will be affected by the various international agreements and standards to which a state is a member. In particular, agreements introduced by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) impose certain restrictions on measures that member countries can adopt for Biosecurity. Furthermore, uncertainties arise from contradictions and conflicts between important Multilateral Environmental Agreements and WTO requirements and these create difficulties for developing countries in particular.

The research reported in this thesis focused primarily on the implementation of national Biosecurity frameworks in this context. This was an important departure from much of the literature, in which existing work as well as the identified need for research has focused on apparent conflicts at the international level. The present research sought not to pursue strict hypotheses but to identify the actual challenges and limitations, as well as successes, of Biosecurity frameworks in Belize. The methodology adopted to achieve this was grounded theory. Key characteristics of this were a departure from the traditional legal-centralist approach and the investigation issues at the ground level, through consultation with a broad range of stakeholders. The adaptation of qualitative data analysis procedures, and the application of these using specialist software, was a further important development, allowing for improved evaluation of the interview data.

The investigation of Belize's pesticides control and agricultural health frameworks provided substantial empirical data highlighting not only the difficulties concerning implementation of international agreements but also to a range of other important issues. Whereas the burden associated with international agreements was clearly a restraint, the apparent conflicts and tensions between trade and environment agreements, which have been the focus of so much literature, were not seen to be significant. The extent to which the regulatory authority interacts with the regulated community was, however, seen to be an important influence on the success of both frameworks, affecting levels of stakeholder awareness and support for regulation. Enforcement is also important. Although sanction-based enforcement might not commonly be necessary there is a need for a clear distinction between enforcement and other (assistance-based) activities. Other bodies ('third parties') including regulatory agencies, private sector bodies and regional institutions play an important role, either official or de facto, in these frameworks. Governance was also an issue for the regulatory authorities. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: biosecurity, frameworks, law, regulation, Belize, developing countries, pesticides control, agricultural health,
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
K Law > K Law (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Law & Criminology
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:21

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