Both UNCLOS and emerging international biodiversity agreements are trying to define scope of resource sharing
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The CBD follows UNCLOS in asking for benefit sharing of the uses of biodiversity. 61 Similarly, developing countries, led by China, India, and Brazil, argued that the CBD allows them access to bio-technology that would enable them to exploit their own biological resources.62 The compromise became a call for the transfer of technology and for "fair and equitable sharing of the benefits" when knowledge and resources are exchanged.63 In addition, the CBD requires prior informed consent (PIC) of the local community for access to a bio-resource, not just the central state, which could sell off vital resources for a pittance.64 All stakeholders must mutually consent.65 Materials collected before the formation of the CBD in 1992 are not covered.
Neither the CBD nor UNCLOS has fully defined benefit sharing, but discussions prioritize sharing knowledge and funds for research and development. Discussions have progressed for the CBD, where the need for exchange is more mutual: the North desires access to the biodiversity of South countries, while the South would like access to technology. Of course, all would like to share profits from any practical uses of the resources. The discussion addresses fees for access to germplasm, royalties, profit sharing (much more than the estimated zero to five percent currently offered),66 technology, and funds for development.67
"International Law of the Sea/Seed: Public Domain versus Private Commodity
." Natural Resources Journal
. Vol. 44, No. 3 (Summer 2004): 841-866. [ More (6 quotes) ]
The negotiations and compromises that led to the development of UNCLOS were a watershed for the development of international law and could serve as a model for the development of similar regimes for the governance of other global commons, including outer space, cyberspace, and the genetic pool.