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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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