What is Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing?
Author: Jonge, Bram
Source: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Volume 24, Number 2, April 2011 , pp. 127-146(20)
Abstract:“Fair and equitable benefit-sharing” is one of the objectives of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. In essence, benefit-sharing holds that countries, farmers, and indigenous communities that grant access to their plant genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge should share in the benefits that users derive from these resources. But what exactly is understood by “fair” and “equitable” in this context? Neither term is defined in the international treaties. A complicating factor, furthermore, is that different motivations and perspectives exist with respect to the notion of benefit-sharing itself. This paper looks at six different approaches to benefit-sharing that can be extracted from the current debates on “Access and Benefit-Sharing.” These approaches form the basis of a philosophical reflection in which the different connotations of “fair and equitable” are considered, by analyzing the main principles of justice involved. Finally, the various principles are brought together in order to draw some conclusions as to how a fair and equitable benefit-sharing mechanism might best be realized. This results in several recommendations for policymakers.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Applied Philosophy, Wageningen UR, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW, Wageningen, The Netherlands, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2011-04-01