Franck and Brownstone define biological diversity as 'the variety and variability of living organisms and the biological communities in which they live' (36). Decades of progress in both the scientific and political arenas have advanced environmental legislation to protect biodiversity at not only the ecosystem level, but for specific species and genetic material as well. Research has shown the importance of every organism and their role in the global ecosystem, and legislation has gradually matured to protect not only species which may become endangered, but the habitats they need to survive as well. Growing consciousness surrounding environmental issues has enabled these protections to be implemented through various international agreements as well as through the adoption into the domestic legislation of States, however conflicts often occur when policymakers attempt to equate biological value with economic benefits. Environmental concerns will incessantly produce an atmosphere of compassionate arguments and harsh demands, yet the following discussion suggests optimism as organizational networks are becoming stronger and are able to address many more interests than before. While negotiations have previously defined the environment and economic markets as adversaries, international agreements like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1975 may ultimately prove to use the market as an enforcement incentive rather than an engine for environmental destruction.
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