Transboundary Resources, Consent and Customary Law


Graham Dutfield
Professor of International Governance,
University of Leeds,
Leeds LS2 9JT





This brief commentary focuses on the unresolved access and benefit sharing (ABS) challenges of transboundary resources and situations where getting prior informed consent is not possible. In the absence of the global mechanism envisaged by the Nagoya Protocol, satisfactory ABS deals can still be struck but these are unlikely to be either common or effective in generating substantial benefits for the indigenous peoples. The commentary closes by underlining the moral imperative of ensuring that traditional knowledge and genetic resource users comply with the laws and customary practices established by indigenous groups rather than simply impose their own norms. However, there are many legal and conceptual obstacles to be overcome first.


Access and benefit sharing, customary law, Hoodia, Nagoya Protocol, rosy periwinkle, San.             LEAD Journal - ISSN 1746-5893