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The benefit sharing mechanisms under the International Treaty: heterogeneity and equity in global resources management

Louafi S., Manzella D.. 2018. In : Girard Fabien (ed.), Frison Christine (ed.). The commons, plant breeding and agricultural research. Challenges for food security and agrobiodiversity. Abingdon : Routledge, p. 257-271. (Earthscan Food and Agriculture).

This chapter deals with the mechanisms for generating and allocating benefits under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Treaty). We claim that, despite innovative approaches and mechanisms foreseen under the Treaty to reflect the collective nature of the crop innovation process and the interdependence among actors and countries with regard to crop genetic resources, the existing benefit provision mechanisms do not fully address the high heterogeneity of actors and resources revolving around the Treaty commons. By looking at the benefit provision mechanisms and the way they address the various needs and values of the whole range of actors involved in the conservation, use and exchange of crop genetic resources, this chapter tries to assess how heterogeneity, in its multiple forms, is considered and managed within the Treaty commons. We first describe the different types of heterogeneities that are present with the global commons established by the Treaty (see the 'Introduction' section). We then analyse the various inadequacies in dealing with these heterogeneities within the current redistribution mechanisms that constitute the design of the multilateral system (see the 'Heterogeneity dimensions in the Treaty' section). We conclude by suggesting that heterogeneity in the Treaty commons could be managed through new brokering mechanisms. Rather than hierarchical patterns of authority or standardized contractual tools and centralized enforcement mechanisms, as experienced in the case study of the Treaty, we suggest that a brokering mechanism dedicated to assessing cooperative behaviours could help better address equity dilemmas (see the 'The current shortcomings of the different mechanisms for benefit generation and allocation under the Treaty' section).

Mots-clés : gestion des ressources; conservation des ressources génétiques; biodiversité; sécurité alimentaire

Thématique : Conservation de la nature et ressources foncières; Économie et politique du développement; Nutrition humaine - Considérations générales

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