Current ‘Light’ and ‘Heavy’ Options for Benefit-sharing in the Context of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
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  • 1 Senior Legal Adviser, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and the Environment, Oslo, Norway
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An international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) will need to address “Marine Genetic Resources (MGRs), including questions on the sharing of benefits” from areas outside national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Existing international models of benefit-sharing have all evolved in the context of national jurisdiction and cannot readily be put to use in ABNJ. Current use of MGRs from ABNJ is practically non-existent, although any instrument or model would have to both cater for this situation and provide for any potential technological development and increase in use. The aim of this paper is to provide a simplified overview of options for access and benefit-sharing, drawing on existing models from international and national instruments. Existing options could be analysed through separating access from benefit-sharing and assessing them factually in terms of how ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ they are.

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