skip to Main Content

Comparing Access and Benefit-sharing in Europe

Coolsaet, Brendan. 2015. Comparing Access and Benefit-sharing in Europe. In Implementing the Nagoya Protocol: Comparing Access and Benefit-sharing Regimes in Europe, . eds. Brendan Coolsaet, Fulya Batur, Arianna Broggiato, John Pitseys, and Tom Dedeurwaerdere, 363-86. Leiden: Brill/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers


The concept of access and benefit-sharing (ABS) grew out of the emergence of the global governance of genetic resources during the second half of the twentieth century. The evolution of environmental ethics, of international environ-mental law, of North–South relations, and of international cooperation for scientific research all nourished an international regime, which eventually led to the Nagoya Protocol. The Protocol thus is the product of a series of international legal doctrines.  The story of the Nagoya Protocol thus can be said to be one of legal confluence: born out of a union of legal doctrines,it gathers a large range of legal fields extending far beyond environmental law only, and combines (or will need to combine) existing legal regimes, numerous actors, both public and private, and a multitude of policy and private initiatives. 

Recent publications

Assessing the effectiveness of orchestrated climate action from five years of summits
Five years of climate action and summitry have taught us valuable lessons. Orchestrators of climate action can positively influence performance by setting minimum requirements for credibility and robustness among the initiatives they engage.
Transforming Biodiversity Governance
Edited by Ingrid J. Visseren-Hamakers, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Marcel T. J. Kok, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
2021 Annual Report
The Earth System Governance Project seeks to mobilise and advance scholarship at the interface between global environmental change and governance. Discover how by learning more about the project in this summary of 2021!