This paper will assess the prospects of so-called 'civil' regulation, or the ability of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to regulate commercial behaviour within the institutional setting of a partnership. The selected case study involves an initiative between five conservation NGOs and five energy firms seeking to integrate biodiversity considerations into upstream oil and gas development projects within, or adjacent to, environmentally-sensitive or protected areas. Part one describes the concept of 'civil' regulation, identifies its principal characteristics and considers the potential for partnerships between corporations and NGOs. Part two provides an overview of the Energy and Biodiversity Initiative in the context of dialogue between the business and NGO communities with respect to the commercial role for conserving biodiversity. Finally, part three identifies consequential lessons for collaborative arrangements between NGOs and corporations, assesses the prospects for partnerships as a regulatory device and identifies the prerequisites for effectively controlling corporate behaviour through this mechanism
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