Can benefit-sharing address the equity deficit within the green economy? This project aims to investigate benefit-sharing as an under-theorised and little-implemented regulatory approach to the equity concerns (disregard for the special circumstances of developing countries and of indigenous peoples and local communities) in transitioning to the green economy.
Although benefit-sharing is increasingly deployed in a variety of international environmental agreements and also in human rights and corporate accountability instruments, no comprehensive account exists of its conceptual and practical relevance to equitably address global environmental challenges. This project will be the first systematic evaluation of the conceptualisations and operationalisations of benefit-sharing as a tool for equitable change through the allocation among different stakeholders of economic and also socio-cultural and environmental advantages arising from natural resource use.
The project will combine a comparative study of international law with empirical legal research, and include an inter-disciplinary study integrating political sociology in a legal enquiry on the role of “biocultural community protocols” that articulate and implement benefit-sharing at the intersection of international, transnational, national and indigenous communities’ customary law (global environmental law).
The project aims to: 1. develop a comprehensive understanding of benefit-sharing in international law; 2. clarify whether and how benefit-sharing supports equity and the protection of human rights across key sectors of international environmental regulation (biodiversity, climate change, oceans, food and agriculture) that are seen as inter-related in the transition to the green economy; 3. understand the development of benefit-sharing in the context of global environmental law; and
4. clarify the role of transnational legal advisors (NGOs and bilateral cooperation partners) in the green economy.