Developing a Methodology to Balance Benefit-Sharing: Application in the Context of Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction

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Jane Eva Collins
Aysegul Sirakaya
Thomas Vanagt
Isabelle Huys


The effectiveness and success of benefit-sharing measures to date, particularly in contributing towards the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, has been questionable. This is likely related to the degree of beneficial impacts versus burden on the users and regulatory authorities in terms of administrative complexities. It is, therefore, timely to reconsider which forms of benefit-sharing may most favourably balance the associated beneficial and burdensome aspects. The aim of this paper is to develop and demonstrate a benefit-sharing balance methodology which can be used as a tool to help decision-makers to select options in an objective and transparent manner. Application in the biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction context provides a useful example of how this tool can be used. Results suggest that sharing of genetic sequence data and research results provide the most favourable balance in terms of non-monetary benefit sharing, whilst the most favourable monetary benefit-sharing options were associated with research funding and salaries. The benefit-sharing balance methodology presented here provides a useful tool and starting point, which can be built upon in the future, to include more detailed information gathered from expert groups to consolidate the perceived balance of beneficial impacts versus burden. In addition, the equation can be tailored according to different policy settings where different benefit-sharing factors may be more appropriate. Ultimately, use of this tool could help to enhance implementation of benefit-sharing policies/legislation with greater potential to balance beneficial impacts with associated burden, thereby enhancing workability of the access and benefit-sharing system as a whole.

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How to Cite
Collins, J. E., Sirakaya, A., Vanagt, T. and Huys, I. (2020) “Developing a Methodology to Balance Benefit-Sharing: Application in the Context of Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction”, Genetic Resources, 1(1), pp. 24-39. doi: 10.46265/genresj.2020.1.24-39.
Original Articles
Author Biographies

Aysegul Sirakaya, ABSint, Bruges, Belgium & Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Department of European, Public and International Law, Faculty of Law, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Isabelle Huys, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy