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International Governance of Biodiversity: Involving all the Users of Genetic Resources

Par: Sélim Louafi (IDDRI) - Jean-Frédéric Morin (Unisféra) , 2004-02-01

 The objective of this paper is to analyze the extent to which greater involvement by users makes it possible to enlarge the discussion on international governance of access and benefit sharing and, by doing so, improve its effectiveness. It explores three areas where this taking on of responsibility can be carried out: technology transfer, disclosure of origin, and access to justice in case of disagreement.
Ten years after the signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the objective of fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, one of the three objectives of this convention, is far from being achieved. Until recently, the debates on benefit sharing have focused on the models of bioprospection contracts and on legislation on access to genetic resources. Some provider countries are complaining about bearing most of the costs of regulation while the benefits are still miminal, both in terms of financial gains and technology transfers. It is in this context that the issue of user responsibility has arisen. This allows to renew discussions on old issues (technology transfer) and to introduce new ones (alternative means for settling disagreements).

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