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Prospecting for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity: International Law in Deep Water?

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

Although formally covered by the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), the protection of marine and coastal ecosystems has been somewhat neglected in the post-UNCED era. The Jakarta Mandate has redirected attention to marine and coastal biodiversity. The CBD had conceived benefit-sharing as an economic incentive for the goals of conservation and sustainable use to be implemented by developing countries. Benefit-sharing can only be implemented if developing countries can control their marine and coastal genetic resources with regard to bioprospecting activities through prior informed consent, and if developed states are legally obliged to take the necessary measures with the aim of sharing the revenues from the utilisation of marine and coastal genetic resources and transferring biotechnology. This article examines the potential impact of the relevant LOS Convention provisions concerning marine scientific research and technology transfer on the benefit-sharing regime for marine and coastal genetic resources.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Environmental and Energy Law, Collegium Falconis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium


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