Authorization to destruct (for economic or housing purposes) biotopes within a classified natural area is difficult to obtain. It requires a rather thorough impact study and consultation of the population (public participation). The administrative tribunal, before which the decision to declassify a protected area can be challenged, has the power to annul the declassification procedure on various grounds, particularly with regard to the general interest.
This short article aims at underlining some effective and distinctive features of New-Caledonian environmental law, focusing on the tools developped to protect rare and fragile forests.
The following specificities of New-Caledonian environmental law are worth noting because they could be implemented in other countries facing similar challenges.
International economic law corresponds to the set of rules governing commercial interactions between states. Its main purpose is to limit and harmonize protectionism measures and to facilitate international trade in products and services.
In the recent years and particularly under former President TRUMP’s mandate – and COVID-19 related fears of foreign products, the international community has failed to prevent protectionism from spreading in almost all the regions of the world. Although international trade rules are dated in many respects (particularly with regards to labor and environmental protection), it represents the best barrier against economic warfare.
Competent in foreign trade, New Caledonia’s government can take the measures it deems appropriate to protect and develop its economy. At the same time, its membership in the European Union (EU), through France, and by extension in the World Trade Organization (WTO) brings a set of rights and obligations that frame this power.
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