A fair and effective regime regulating benefit-sharing of marine genetic resources (MGR) in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) must consider the inclusion of developing states, support scientific research and safeguard investments of the private sector. The present innovative proposal ensures a delicate balance through an approach based on open access, albeit with limitations. Access to MGR in ABNJ is facilitated, but conditional on the public release of collected samples and raw data. Adoption of the open access principle guarantees a powerful form of non-monetary benefit-sharing. The balance is maintained by the option for an extended embargo period, allowing samples and data to be kept confidential for a certain period, against payment to a biodiversity contribution fund. Monetary benefit-sharing, as a sector-negotiated percentage on revenue, could be imposed at the point of product commercialisation, and would offer a tangible payment system with a low transaction cost.
- Areas beyond national jurisdiction
- Law of the Sea
- Marine genetic resources
- Open access