1st Edition

Fair and Equitable Benefit-Sharing in Agriculture (Open Access) Reinventing Agrarian Justice

By Elsa Tsioumani Copyright 2021
    186 Pages
    by Routledge

    186 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the emergence and development of the legal concept of fair and equitable benefit-sharing, and its application in agriculture.

    Developed in the 1990s, the concept of fair and equitable benefit-sharing has been deployed in an ever-wider variety of international instruments, including those on biodiversity, climate change and human rights. A lack of clarity persists, however, on what fair and equitable benefit-sharing requires and entails, and whether its implementation supports or eventually undermines equity and justice. This book examines these questions in the area of land, food and agriculture, addressing for the first time several instances of the agricultural production chain, including research and development, land governance and land use and access to markets. It identifies challenges regarding implementation of the concept as enshrined in environmental treaties and soft-law instruments, with a focus on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the Voluntary Guidelines on Tenure and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants. It investigates its role, enabling conditions and limitations, in a contradictory policy context involving environmental, food security and human rights objectives but also a growing web of multilateral and bilateral trade and investment agreements. Linking international law research with a socio-legal analysis, the book addresses four grassroots examples, which offer ideas for institutional and legal innovation from the local to the global level.             

    This interdisciplinary title will be of great interest to students and scholars of international environmental law, agriculture, land law, development studies and global governance, as well as policymakers and practitioners working in these fields.

    “The Open Access version of this book, available at https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429198304, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license."


    1. Fair and Equitable Benefit-Sharing in Agricultural Research and Development

    2. Fair and Equitable Benefit-Sharing in Land Governance for Sustainable Agriculture

    3. Moving Beyond Fair and Equitable Benefit-Sharing

    4. Exploring Grassroots Initiatives from the Seed to the Landscape

    5. Conclusions and a Research Agenda


    Elsa Tsioumani is a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the School of International Studies, University of Trento, Italy. An international lawyer and consultant based in Thessaloniki, Greece, she has been following international negotiations on biodiversity since 1999 as a writer for the Reporting Services of the International Institute for Sustainable Development.