Professor Abbe Brown, Dr Olivia Woolley and Professor Marcel Jaspars (Chemistry) are continuing their work to inform and influence negotiations for a new international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to regulate biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. This work is important as Oceans’ contain raw materials Marine Genetic Resources (MGR) which can be transformed into products to benefit society. This all offers rich opportunities, however 64% of the surface of the oceans lies beyond the control of states and has until now not been the subject of international treaty.
The Aberdeen contribution to the negotiations explores how to most effectively and fairly regulate who can conduct basic scientific research and product development involving and building on MGR , who can benefit from this activity, and how this can be brought about while sustaining, conserving and prioritising the oceans and the environment.
Working with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative, we are holding a side event “Developing Mare Geneticum: notifying, sharing, rewarding and sustaining” at the third intergovernmental conference in New York on 22 August 2019. Mare Geneticum was developed by Professor Jaspars and other scientists, lawyers and policymakers as a pragmatic means of delivering access and benefit sharing in a way which is consistent with scientific best practice. A key element was prior notification of proposed cruises, the identification of results and the sharing of the results with all. Building on subsequent research, policy and scientific engagement and contributions through the BBNJ, this side event will explore how best to deliver an approach consistent with ecosystem governance, engagement with MGR in physical and information forms, how far down the supply and development chain requirements of benefit sharing should extend and in respect of what types of products, and the place if any of intellectual property rights and trade secrets in the negotiations.
For further details see https://www.abdn.ac.uk/ncs/departments/chemistry/bbnj/index.php and the Law School blog post at https://www.abdn.ac.uk/law/blog/global-challenges-interdisciplinary-solutions-law-chemistry-and-biodiversity-beyond-national-jurisdiction-/