The evolution of benefit sharing

Elisa Morgera, Elsa Tsioumani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This article traces the evolution of the use of the legal concept of benefit-sharing in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with a view to highlighting its contribution to indigenous and local communities? livelihoods. To this end, the article proposes a distinction between inter-State benefit-sharing (as identified in the third CBD objective and as usually linked to access to genetic resources), and notably lesser known State-to-community benefit-sharing (in relation to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity). The article highlights the different legal connotations of the two dimensions of this legal concept, while supporting an integrated interpretation of the CBD by pointing to a wide array of benefit-sharing related tools under the Convention that can be used to support indigenous and local communities? livelihoods in pursuing the Convention?s three objectives. The article also identifies other international processes ? in the areas of intellectual property, health and climate change ? in which, these conceptual developments may have a significant influence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-173
Number of pages24
JournalReview of European Community and International Environmental Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2010


  • benefit-sharing
  • biodiversity
  • conservation
  • sustainable use
  • access to genetic resources
  • indigenous communities

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