Fair and equitable negotiations? African influence and the international access and benefit-sharing regime

Brendan Coolsaet, John Pitseys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In 2010, at the tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Parties adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS). The adoption is the result of a long set of negotiations on the making of an international ABS regime, aiming to share benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a ‘fair and equitable way’. However, the conditions for this fair and equitable benefit-sharing lie in a decision-making process that is similarly fair and equitable, i.e. governed by the principles of procedural justice. This article traces the participation of the supposedly most disadvantaged participants in the ABS negotiations: the African countries. It shows that these countries managed to have more influence than what could have been expected in light of their economic and demographic weight. It then explores the procedural and institution-based sources underlying this influence and draws lessons from the African experience in the ABS negotiations with regard to international procedural justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-56
Number of pages19
JournalGlobal Environmental Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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