Benefit Sharing: A Comparative Analysis of the Politics of Development Strategies
24 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2014
Benefit sharing, embodied in international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol (NP), emerged as a counter to the extension of intellectual property rights in developing countries, and has been hailed as a significant step to promote development. This study focuses on benefit sharing in order to compare development strategies in different regional contexts. Contrary to the view that countries base their development strategy on one framework, this paper points out that in implementing specific policies, nations employ various approaches to development. Comparing benefit sharing policies in three nations at various levels of economic development, India, Nepal and Norway, this study points out that diverse approaches have implications beyond national borders. Benefit sharing establishes legal mechanisms to ensure that firms accessing genetic resources do so only with the consent of, and with due compensation to, traditional communities or knowledge holders. In what ways do countries apply market-based or rights-based development approaches to frame benefit sharing laws? What implications do these different frameworks have for the implementation of benefit sharing regimes? This study points out that the deviations in approaches have cross-regional implications and that co-ordination between nations is required to implement benefit sharing and development strategies effectively. The paper is based on a project focusing on access and benefit sharing currently being conducted in collaboration with researchers in India, Nepal and Norway.
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