Biopiracy and the Bioeconomy

NEW GENETICS, NEW SOCIAL FORMATIONS, GENETICS AND SOCIETY SERIES, P. Glasner, P. Atkinson, H. Greenslade, eds., London & New York: Routledge, 2007

51 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2010

See all articles by Paul D. Oldham

Paul D. Oldham

ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen)

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between the concept of biopiracy and the emerging concept of the bioeconomy in the context of negotiations on the establishment of an international regime on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The article explores the background to access and benefit-sharing provisions of the Convention with regard to the historical economic importance of biodiversity and potential future values of biodiversity to be realised through bioprospecting. This sets the scene for consideration of the rise of traditional knowledge and the rights of indigenous peoples in debates on access and benefit-sharing. Experiences with bioprospecting projects in connection with the concept of biopiracy are considered before moving to detailed consideration of the trouble with the TRIPS agreement in relation to intellectual property. The final section of the article considers the issue of anticommons effects in access and benefit-sharing as externalities generated by TRIPS and concerns and expectations around intellectual property. The article concludes by considering the concept of the 'new' bioeconomy and argues that there is a need to recognise that the vast majority of humanity have always lived in a bioeconomy that is configured in multiple ways.

Keywords: biopiracy, bioeconomy, convention on biological diversity, access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, access and benefit-sharing, traditional knowledge, indigenous peoples

JEL Classification: law

Suggested Citation

Oldham, Paul D., Biopiracy and the Bioeconomy (2007). NEW GENETICS, NEW SOCIAL FORMATIONS, GENETICS AND SOCIETY SERIES, P. Glasner, P. Atkinson, H. Greenslade, eds., London & New York: Routledge, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1439306

Paul D. Oldham (Contact Author)

ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen) ( email )

Institute for Advanced Study
County South
Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 4YD
Great Britain

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