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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 24 No 1 (2006) Patent Law and Biological Inventions

Regulating Access to Biological Resources: The Market Failure for Biodiversity Conservation

Charles Lawson is a senior research fellow at the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture (ACIPA), TC Beirne School of Law, the University of Queensland.

The contribution of this article is to illustrate the potentially complex regulatory environment necessary to balance different governmental policy objectives. The setting is the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity access and benefit-sharing obligations that have been codified in Australia in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment Regulations 2005 (No 2) (Cth). In this case, biodiversity conservation is matched against promoting investment in biological resource-based product research and development. The article concludes that governmental price setting is necessary so that the ‘low price’ for access to biological resources will match the ‘high price’ of other uses of the land and water promoting biodiversity conser­vation in favour of other potentially destructive uses.

(2006) Volume 24 No1 Law in Context 137

   
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