Biodiversity and international stakes: A question of access
This paper examines three main questions: Is it possible to create a market for genetic resources? Is it a perfectly or an imperfectly competitive market? What impact could this market have on the management of Biodiversity in the context of sustainable development? The author analyses the conditions for "access" and "use" of knowledge of genetic resources and the genetic resources themselves. Then he considers the consequences on the management of genetic resources and social welfare trends in the context of sustainable development. He presents product and technology transfers in terms of access and user rights. He shows that the lack of information on the quality of biological resources and on their value on both the demand and supply sides lead to an imperfect market model. He examines how benefit-sharing can be achieved via public research institutions in developed countries and the conditions of their access to private patent licences. The main conclusion of this paper is that a valorisation of developing countries' genetic resources is a means, among others, of accomplishing a sustainable management of biodiversity by an equitable access and benefit-sharing from the use of biodiversity: direct use of natural and biological resources; valorisation of genetic resources; development of new economic sectors, Etc. Furthermore, it enables taking part in the economic and social development of these countries (increasing the social welfare in a context of sustainable development) by widening the access to genetic resources.
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