International Business, Trade and the Nagoya Protocol: Best Practices and Challenges for Sustainability in Access and Benefit-Sharing



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Biodiversity is critical for international trade, businesses and investment. However, the issue of their ownership and exploitation has been a matter of debate. Specifically, the access to biodiversity resources and the distribution of the associated benefits are at the core of the environmental economics debate. Since 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) established regulations for the access and benefits-sharing of genetic resources, which materialized in the 2010 Nagoya Protocol. In 2015, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 15 renewed countries’ commitment to the promotion of appropriate access to genetic resources, and equitable and fair sharing of the associated benefits, calling for countries to adopt the policy and strategic frameworks to implement the ABS regime. Using examples from developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, this chapter explains how the ABS regime is being implemented in relation to international business and trade, and analyzes how it brings opportunities, best practices and challenges in order for these countries to improve the balance in the relationship between biodiversity conservation and economic activities. These new circumstances support the identification of actions that governments and international business actors can follow to effectively use the ABS regime as a policy instruments that contribute to sustainability through the implementation of economic and environmental regulations. © 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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