Interpretation of Exhaustible Natural Resources Under Article XX(g) GATT and Sustainable Development

  • Anjusree P.L. and Anusree P.L.
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  • Anjusree P.L.

    LLM PhD Student at National University of Advanced Legal Studies, India

  • Anusree P.L.

    Student at N.S.S Law College Kottiyam, Kollam, India

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Trade and environment are interconnected. The WTO, being one of the prominent international institutions that deals with trade, recognized the importance of environment protection through its provisions. The World Trade Organisation has been collaborating with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs to implement the UN's Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Protection and conservation of natural resources is one of the means to achieve sustainable development. Article XX(g) of the GATT enables the member nations to impose trade restriction, if it is for the conservation of exhaustible natural resources. However, the term ‘exhaustible natural resources’ is not defined anywhere in the agreement. This paved the way to various interpretations. Some member nations succeeded their claim under Article XX(g) where some other nations which tried to misuse the provision failed. The WTO Dispute Settlement mechanism and the GATT Panel took various factors into consideration while deciding the cases related to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources. Even though the absence of a definition was a problem in the beginning, later it got resolved. The attempt of some nations to limit the scope of the term to certain category of resources can be seen while examining the history. However, now the term ‘exhaustible natural resources’ now includes a vast variety of natural resources including living and non-living species and minerals.





International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 4, Page 2408 - 2413


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