From Corporate Social Responsibility to Accountability Mechanisms: The Role of Convention on Biological Diversity

Research output: Working paper


This paper traces the progressive shift at the international level from purely voluntary approaches (corporate social responsibility or CSR) towards accountability mechanisms to ensure the environmentally sound conduct of private entities. It examines whether the most recent international discussion on human rights and corporate accountability have adequately considered environmental protection concerns. It then concentrates on the growing number of international oversight mechanisms that provide a readily-available and impartial avenue for addressing complaints against private companies for their negative environmental impacts. The paper concludes that certain key standards elaborated within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular environmental-cultural impact assessments and benefit-sharing, are increasingly referred to in the decisions of different international corporate accountability mechanisms to ensure both the protection of the environment and of human rights.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameUniversity of Edinburgh, School of Law, Working Papers
Publisheruniversity of Edinburgh


  • international monitoring
  • benefit-sharing
  • biodiversity, business and human rights
  • corporate social responsibility
  • corporate accountability

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