Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Access and Benefit Sharing after the Nagoya Protocol, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Global Governance of Genetic Resources

Access and Benefit Sharing after the Nagoya Protocol, 1st Edition

Edited by Sebastian Oberthür, G. Kristin Rosendal


288 pages

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This book analyses the status and prospects of the global governance of Access Benefit Sharing (ABS) in the aftermath of 2010’s Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD’s initial 1992 framework of global ABS governance established the objective of sharing the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources fairly between countries and communities. Since then, ABS has been a contested issue in international politics – not least due to the failure of effective implementation of the original CBD framework. The Nagoya Protocol therefore aims to improve and enhance this framework. Compared to the slow rate of progress on climate change, it has been considered a major achievement of global environmental governance, but it has also been coined a ‘masterpiece of ambiguity’. This book analyses the role of a variety of actors in the emergence of the Nagoya Protocol and provides an up-to-date assessment of the core features of the architecture of global ABS governance.

This book offers a central resource regarding ABS governance for those working on and interested in global environmental governance. This is achieved by focusing on two broad themes of the wider research agenda on global environmental governance, namely architecture and agency. Furthermore, individual chapter contributions relate and link ABS governance to other prominent debates in the field, such as institutional complexes, compliance, market-based approaches, EU leadership, the role of small states, the role of non-state actors and more.

Partly due to its seeming technical complexity, ABS governance has so far not been at the centre of attention of scholars and practitioners of global environmental governance. In this book, care is taken to provide an accessible account of key functional features of the governance system which enables non-specialists to gain a grasp on the main issues involved, allowing the issue of ABS governance to move centre-stage and be more fully recognised in discussions on global environmental governance.

Table of Contents

1. Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Background and Analytical Framework Sebastian Oberthür and G. Kristin Rosendal 2. The Term ‘Genetic Resources’: Flexible and Dynamic while Providing Legal Certainty? Morten Walløe Tvedt and Peter Johan Schei 3. The Negotiations of the Nagoya Protocol: Issues, Coalitions and Process Linda Wallbott, Franziska Wolff and Justyna Pożarowska 4. The Role of Non-state Actors in the Nagoya Protocol Negotiations Amandine Orsini 5. The Role of the European Union in the Negotiations on the Nagoya Protocol: Self-interested Bridge Building Sebastian Oberthür and Florian Rabitz 6. The Role of Switzerland in the Nagoya Protocol Negotiations Marc Hufty, Tobias Schulz, and Maurice Tschopp 7. Goals, Strategies and Success of the African Group in the Negotiations of the Nagoya Protocol Linda Wallbott 8. The Nagoya Protocol and the Diffusion of Economic Instruments for Ecosystem Services Franziska Wolff 9. Beyond Nagoya: Towards a Legally Functional System of Access and Benefit-sharing Morten Walløe Tvedt 10. The Impact of the Nagoya Protocol on the Evolving Institutional Complex of ABS Governance Sebastian Oberthür and Justyna Pożarowska 11. Balancing ABS and IPR Governance in the Aquaculture Sector G. Kristin Rosendal, Ingrid Olesen and Morten Walløe Tvedt 12. Governance Options for ex-situ Collections in Academic Research Susette Biber-Klemm, Kate Davis, Laurent Gautier, and Sylvia I. Martinez 13. Conclusions: An Assessment of Global Governance of Genetic Resources after the Nagoya Protocol Sebastian Oberthür and G. Kristin Rosendal

About the Editors

Sebastian Oberthür is Academic Director of the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium.

G. Kristin Rosendal is a research Professor at Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Global Environmental Governance

Global environmental governance has been a prime concern of policy-makers since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. Yet, despite more than 900 multi-lateral environmental treaties coming into force over the past 40 years and numerous public-private and private initiatives to mitigate global change, human-induced environmental degradation is reaching alarming levels. Scientists see compelling evidence that the entire earth system now operates well outside safe boundaries and at rates that accelerate. According to a recent scientific assessment organized by the international Earth System Governance Project (ESGP), human societies must change course and steer away from critical tipping points that might lead to rapid and irreversible change, while ensuring sustainable livelihoods for all. The urgent challenge from a social science perspective is how to organize the co-evolution of societies and their surrounding environment, in other words, how to develop effective and equitable governance solutions for today’s global problems.

Against this background, the Routledge Research in Global Environmental Governance series delivers cutting-edge research on the most vibrant and relevant themes within the academic field of global environmental governance. In more detail, the areas of interest of global environmental governance research constitute:

The overall institutional and organizational structure of Global Environmental Governance

  • The core actors, their interests and motives
  • New governance instruments and approaches, including public-private partnerships; market-based governance
  • Questions of governance effectiveness, democratic legitimacy, accountability and transparency in/of Global Environmental Governance
  • Normative underpinnings and implications of Global Environmental Governance, including considerations of equity, access, fairness and justice
  • Adapting the overall global governance landscape to new challenges, including ecological and social tipping points
  • Methodological questions on how to better integrate governance research and the more quantitative modelling and scenario communities

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
LAW / Environmental
NATURE / Natural Resources
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy