Legal Studies on Access and Benefit-sharing

The 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity prominently enshrined the concept of “access and benefit-sharing” (ABS) in the sphere of public international law. The series offers a forum for original research on the concept of ABS and on innovative regulatory and governance approaches related to the equitable sharing of commercial and non-commercial benefits deriving from access to genetic resources, biological resources and the traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities, as well as in broader context of environmental protection and management.

The series will promote scholarly analysis of and practitioners’ reflection on the theory and the practice of regulatory and governance approaches to access and benefit-sharing.

It will explore substantive issues including: the multi-level legal frameworks for access to and benefit-sharing from genetic resources and traditional knowledge; legal issues related to access and benefit-sharing in the context of nature conservation; the legal recognition and reward of sustainable customary use and community-based environmental management practices; the protection and promotion of traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples, smallholder farmers and local communities; legal challenges and innovations related to private sector-led, community-led and development assistance-based ABS arrangements; national and international approaches to the enforcement of the law. The series will also aim to illuminate the interactions between different areas of international law, between national and international law, as well as between the customary law and practices of indigenous and local communities and national and international law on ABS. It will also investigate interactions or influences between benefit-sharing approaches in various areas of international law, including human rights, the law of the sea, climate change and in particular REDD, forest management, agriculture, innovation and intellectual property rights, and corporate accountability.

The series will include both international (public and private) law studies as well as national/comparative/transnational law studies on innovative ways to foster access and benefit-sharing arrangements between governments, between government and local or indigenous communities, as well as between private individuals or entities. While the main focus is on legal studies, there is also some scope for inter-disciplinary pieces in both streams of research, as long as they are specifically aimed to inform legal analysis and lawmaking.

Books published in the series will be peer-reviewed and include research monographs and edited collections of essays.