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It is a common belief that species are becoming extinct due to forest destruction and other threats to the biosphere. Because of this belief, policies and regulations have been enacted to protect and preserve biodiversity. Unfortunately these policies are frequently flawed due to their notion that biodiversity is a static condition. They conflict with the livelihood of indigenous peoples and promote nationalistic control over biodiversity resources. The author of this study proposes a fundamental review of biodiversity protection policies. Instead of conservation/preservation, a shift to attention to ecosystem management with human rights and human dignity at the centre is recommended. This study prescribes a comprehensive system for the protection of biodiversity. Human rights standards, free trade in wildlife and regulated free access to plant genetic resources are proposed as the elements of this system. Practitioners and scholars concerned with environmental issues, human rights, and sustainable development problems will find this work of great interest.