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Equitably Sharing Benefits from the Utilization of Natural Genetic Resources: The Brazilian Interpretation of the Convention on Biological Diversity

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Pena-Neira, S.; Dieperink, C.; Addink, H.
Date: 2002
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4092
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Africa
Subject(s): natural resources
genetic resources
resource management
Abstract: "This paper will focus on the way in which Brazil interpreted and applied the provisions of equitable and fair benefit-sharing provided for in the Convention on Biological Diversity. Brazil is one of the 'biospots' of the world, as the Amazon is an area of very great biological diversity. Besides, Brazil's interpretation of the Convention raised great commotion and resulted in a shift from the initially chosen private law approach towards a more public law approach. Therefore, the Brazilian experience may be an example for other countries. "The initial system that was set up in Brazil will be examined first. In this system, the emphasis was placed on private law. As a result of the legal and societal debate on the contract that was concluded between Bioamazonia (the institution in charge of the Brazilian genetic resources) and the Swiss multinational Novartis, this system was changed. We will analyse both the contract and the resultant changes. On the basis of this investigation, we can comment on the way in which the issue of equity has been specified in Brazil. As a consequence of these changes, the role of public law received more emphasis. Our analysis will specify the legal options and requirements a country has to deal with in the interpretation of the concept of fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of natural genetic resources."

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