Genetic Resources, Equity and International Law

This book examines current developments in international law which regulate the uses of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and the various property regimes which are applied to these resources by these international agreements. In the current context of the global food crisis, the development and stability of national agricultural systems is an urgent concern, particularly among developing countries. This stability, and national food security, will potentially be threatened if these countries are unable to have free access to agricultural crop plants. This book analyses a range of international agreements including the recently adopted Nagoya Protocol and demonstrates that in their current implementation they favour private ownership of these resources rather than free access. The book takes the position that this is inherently inequitable and these resources should be maintained in the public domain. This book will be of use to a wide range of readers from students and scholars to those working in the fields of trade and intellectual property, human rights, environmental conservation and advocacy on international issues. It contains a rigorous legal analysis of current international law development on the issue based on the negotiations which have taken place in the relevant forums, and will therefore be particularly useful to lawyers and legal scholars. It is also written in an uncomplicated style which makes it readily accessible to non-lawyers and the case studies and empirical data used throughout the book adds to its interest.