The BeneLex team aims to reach a variety of stakeholders through the organisation of international side-events at multilateral environmental negotiation sessions, the sharing of research results in the form of blog posts (to discuss topical international law developments that are relevant to benefit-sharing), working papers and guest articles, and the participation in other events.
In addition, our policy outputs will include:
- policy briefs that will present in a succinct and accessible way the main project findings on whether and how benefit-sharing can (and crucially when it cannot) contribute to an equitable transition to the green economy. The briefs will be targeted to specific groups of end-users: international negotiators, the private sector, NGOs and bilateral donors advising indigenous and local communities. They will be available in English, French and Spanish;
- a training module for indigenous peoples' and local communities' advocates and lawyers, providing practical guidance on operationalising benefit-sharing and concluding benefit-sharing agreements. The module will be made available online and in print in English, French and Spanish to ensure its accessibility to stakeholders in different regions.
2018Benelex contributes to IPBES Global Assessment
BeneLex researcher Elsa Tsioumani was invited to serve as a contributing author to the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). She contributed to Chapter 3 (Assessing progress towards meeting major international objectives related to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services) with focus on the role of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
In March 2018, BENELEX PI Elisa Morgera published with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) a policy brief on the importance of focusing on "fair and equity" and on "sharing" with regard to benefit-sharing from the use of marine genetic resources in a new treaty under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction: http://pubs.iied.org/17462IIED/
2017BENELEX PI at World Forum on Natural Capital
On 27th November 2017, Elisa Morgera was invited to participate in the World Forum on Natural Capital in Edinburgh, UK. She participated in the interactive panel on "a new policy landscape" and shared relevant findings on fair and equitable benefit-sharing and human rights from a BENELEX paper.
On 12-14 November, BeneLex PI Elisa Morgera was invited by the CBD Secretariat to contribute to the 2017 Bogis Bossy Dialogue for Biodiversity held in Switzerland. The dialogue was seeking to spark a provocative, framing reflection to identify a transformative agenda for action that will engage multi-level systemic change in all sectors and domains that have an impact on, or benefit from, biodiversity, with a view to contributing to discussions on an ambitious, yet pragmatic and innovative post-2020 Global Biodiversity Agenda. The dialogue was organized with support from the United Nations Development Programme, and its findings will be used as a catalyst for subsequent consultations meetings throughout 2018, and in the lead up to 2020.
The dialogue findings were brought to the attention of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, meeting in December 2017 in Montreal, Canada.
October 2017: BeneLex PI Elisa Morgera, BeneLex researcher Elsa Tsioumani and SCELG colleague Stephanie Switzer have been awarded an international consultancy by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to prepare a study on possible criteria to identify what constitutes a “specialized international access and benefit-sharing instrument” in the context of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-sharing. The study will also investigate a possible process for recognizing such specialized instruments. The study will be considered by parties to the Nagoya Protocol in 2018.
BENELEX researchers Elisa Morgera and Elsa Tsioumani, and Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance colleague Stephanie Switzer have prepared a report for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on criteria to identify a specialized international access and benefit-sharing instrument, and a possible process for its recognition. The report will be discussed at the upcoming Second meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Implementation (9 -13 July 2018, Montreal, Canada): https://www.cbd.int/doc/c/9376/a644/1bed20a1837af8e3d1edc5f9/sbi-02-inf-17-en.pdf
December 2017: BeneLex PI Elisa Morgera and MARINE BENEFITS researcher Daniela Diz ran a side-event titled "Mainstreaming Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services into the Fisheries Sector for Sustainable Development." The event explored lessons learned from the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) fisheries projects on the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services into the fisheries sector, including as part of the ecosystem approach, and the mainstreaming of Aichi Biodiversity Targets into the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
June 2017: BENELEX researcher Elsa Tsioumani was invited to contribute to the Expert Group Meeting on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 (no hunger), held from 12-13 June 2017, at the UN Headquarters in New York. The expert group produced a set of key messages, which will be forwarded to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, to be held in July 2017. These messages address, among other issues: the need for transformative change to create sustainable food systems; the importance of diversity across the production chain; the need for strong legal systems and a rights-based approach; and the centrality of smallholders and family farmers. For further information click here.
June 2017: Prof Elisa Morgera and Dr. Daniela Diz from the Marine Benefits project attended the Ocean Conference at the UN from 5-9 June 2017, and organized a side-event entitled SDGs and the blue economy: Investing in Marine Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation. The side-event was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Eritrea to the United Nations, in partnership with the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme, the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI), the UK Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), and Marine Scotland. The side event discussed blue economy concepts and investment in natural capital in the context of SDG 14, as well as relevant findings from fisheries-related ESPA projects, including the Marine Benefits project and its upcoming Marine Policy Journal Special Issue on SDG 14.
May 2017: BENELEX researcher Kim Bouwer attended the climate negotiations in Bonn. Dr Bouwer participated in the second workshop of the Climate Law and Governance Initiative, on 13 May, at the Ameron Konigshof Hotel, Bonn. She served as an intervenor during the second session on ‘Empowering civil society and using legal means to advance climate justice and ambition’. Dr Bouwer also presented a paper at the ‘Clear-eyed equity: setting a climate equity and justice research agenda’ workshop, run by the German Development Institute on 15 May, at Tulpenfeld 6, Bonn, on the potential for benefit-sharing approaches to support the achievement of equity in the mobilisation and distribution of climate finance.
March 2017: BENELEX and MARINE BENEFITS were very pleased to partner with WWF and the World Health Organization (WHO) to host a side-event at the United Nations in New York on 27 March, on the side-lines of the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the development of an international legally binding instrument on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. The event was titled “Experiences of Benefit-Sharing Regimes and their Potential Relevance to Marine Genetic Resources and Capacity Building in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction.” BENELEX PI Morgera, Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, shared comparative insights into existing international regimes for fair and equitable benefit sharing, as well as the relevance of fair and equitable benefit-sharing in relation to marine scientific collaboration, capacity building and technology transfer. Dr Daniela Diz, SCELG member and MARINE BENEFITS researcher, shared reflections on the linkages between environmental impact assessments and benefit-sharing. Steven Solomon, WHO Principal Legal Advisor, explained the specific features and opportunities of the World Health Organisation’s Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework. Jessica Battle (WWF) offered opening and closing remarks at the event; and Angel Horna, Peru, chaired the event.
March 2017: Dr Daniela Diz of the Marine Benefits project was invited to participate in the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) Capacity Development Aspects in the BBNJ (Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction) process, which took place on 7-9 March 2017 in Oostende and Brussels, Belgium. The workshop, co-organised by the Government of Belgium and UNESCO, aimed at contributing to the ongoing negotiations on a new international treaty on marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction in New York, by discussing capacity building needs and SIDS priorities regarding marine biodiversity, as well as climate change. The workshop, held under Chatham House rules, was attended by high-level government officials, UN and inter-governmental officials, civil society and academia and discussed capacity building and technology transfer with regards to marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments and marine genetic resources.
2016Prof Elisa Morgera contributes to side-event on 'Biodiversity Governance – identifying knowledge gaps and needed research activities' in Cancun
December 2016, BENELEX co-organised a side-event during the upcoming meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (4 - 17 December 2016, Cancun, Mexico), in collaboration with SCELG, Director Prof Elisa Morgera will contribute to the event “Biodiversity Governance – identifying knowledge gaps and needed research activities”. The event provided an opportunity to share Prof Morgera’s recent findings on benefit-sharing related to natural resource-related human rights of indigenous peoples and local communities and engage the audience in participatory identification of the directions that social science research should take to support your participation in CBD processes and implementation.
Highlighting several “contact points” between international biodiversity law and international human rights law, Elisa, shared findings from the BENELEX project that suggest that human rights standards can provide specific standards for understanding when benefit sharing is fair and equitable, and that international biodiversity law provides specific guidelines on how to put human rights precepts into practice.
October 2016: The BENELEX and MARINE BENEFITS projects, in collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the FAO Legal Office, organised the side event "Tenure Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals: Leaving no-one behind in the land and fisheries sectors?" on 20 October 2016, at the Committee on World Food Security in Rome, Italy.
The event explored legal and policy tools aiming to inject fairness and equity in tenure governance and sustainable development. Focusing on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT). The event also highlighted research on lessons and challenges arising from the application of the concept of fair and equitable benefit-sharing in the land, food, agriculture and fisheries sectors, and explore the ‘leave no-one behind’ concept on the basis of case studies from the fisheries sector.
BeneLex researchers Elisa Morgera and Elsa Tsioumani, with Daniela Diz from the Marine Benefits project, were joined by IIED's Lorenzo Cotula and Dave Steinbach, and FAO's Margret Vidar, to discuss challenges and opportunities arising from the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
On 15 April 2016, BeneLex PI Elisa Morgera and Marine Benefit researcher Daniela Diz were invited to contribute to an expert meeting organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London on the concept of "leave no one behind" and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting focused on developing a working definition, principles and an analytical framework for the concept of "Leave No One Behind," including on the basis of BeneLex international law research on fair and equitable benefit-sharing and the right to development and of the Marine Benefits research on equity and benefit-sharing in the fisheries sector.
On 1st February 2016, BeneLex principal investigator Elisa Morgera presented, via video conference, a study on multilateral benefit-sharing experiences in international law at the Expert Group Meeting on Article 10 of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity (held in Montreal, Canada from 1-2 February). The study is the result of a consultancy awarded to Prof Morgera by the CBD Secretariat to review and analyse experiences gained with the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, as well as case studies on ex-situ and in-situ genetic resources, traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, and transboundary situations. In addition, the consultancy analysed experiences gained in other multilateral benefit-sharing mechanisms, and assess the potential relevance of ongoing work undertaken by other international processes. The study is expected to inform ongoing intergovernmental negotiations on the possible creation of a global, multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism under the Nagoya Protocol, which would be used to support the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components globally.
The report "Study on Experiences Gained with the Development and Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol and Other Multilateral Mechanisms and the Potential Relevance of Ongoing Work Undertaken by Other Processes, Including Case Studies" is available
2015BeneLex contributes to side-event on REDD+ at the Paris Climate Conference
On 12th November 2015, BeneLex principal investigator Elisa Morgera was invited to contribute to an expert workshop on developing an equity framework for protected area governance, which was organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, UK. The workshop gathered academics from different disciplines and conservation to discuss how to better understand and promote equitable protected areas governance and how to measure progress towards achieving that end, and to identify opportunities for engaging in key international processes.
As a result of the workshop, IIED published a briefing on advancing equity in protected areas, according to which "equitable distribution of costs and sharing of benefits relies on the recognition of power dynamics and strong procedures to avoid the elite capture of benefits and the imposition of unmitigated costs on particular groups." The proposed equity framework includes that "Benefits shared among relevant actors according to one or more of the following criteria: equally between relevant actors, or according to contribution to conservation, costs incurred, recognised rights and/or the needs of the poorest; and benefits to the current generation do not compromise benefits to future generations." Read the policy brief.
On 8th July 2015, BeneLex researcher Annalisa Savaresi participated in the scientific conference “Our common future under climate change” held in Paris at the headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The conference aimed to share knowledge and exchange ideas on key issues concerning climate change, with over 2,000 participants from different sectors. The conference was the largest forum for the scientific community to come together ahead of the 21st Climate Conference (COP21), which will be hosted by France in December 2015 and is expected to adopt a new international climate agreement.
Dr Savaresi contributed to the session on “Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Science in Collaboration for Our Common Future,” with a presentation on "traditional knowledge and benefit-sharing in the 2015 agreement," in which she reflected on the scope for elaborating a common approach to the use of traditional knowledge under the climate regime, building on extant international law. The session also saw the participation of Victoria Tauli Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
2014BeneLex participates in the 3rd UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance & Democracy
2013BeneLex contributes to Scotland's International Conference on Climate Justice
On 9th October 2013, the International Conference on Climate Justice hosted by the Scottish Government took place in Edinburgh, bringing together businesses, government and civil society to explore how climate justice can reinforce the case for transitioning to a low-carbon economy; delivering jobs, investment, trade and growth; and putting people and human rights at the heart of equitable global sustainable development.
The BeneLex team was invited to contribute to the event by giving an interview on means that may be deployed to achieve climate justice. Dr. Savaresi explained how the concept of benefit- sharing could be instrumental in ensuring a transition towards a more equitable allocation of advantages deriving from climate change mitigation and adaptation, from the global to the local level. As an example, she said that action to curb greenhouse gas emissions from forests provides an unprecedented opportunity not only to assist developing countries in fighting climate change but also to protect and reward forest stewardship by indigenous peoples and local communities. Dr. Savaresi explained that one of the aims of the BeneLex project is to assess how a shift from a burden-sharing to a benefit-sharing approach may help reconcile competing state interests, and different ethical and cultural views within states with regard to effectively tackling climate change.