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.
About the Author:
JOHN Charles KUNICH is Associate Professor of Law, Appalachian School of Law, Virginia.