Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics

Dissertation of Stefan Jungcurt

Institutional Interplay in International Environmental Governance. Policy interdependence and strategic interaction in the regime complex on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture

Start: 2003
End: 2007

Institutional interplay – synergies and disruptions in the implementation of overlapping international agreements – is an important factor for the effectiveness of international environmental governance. This book analyzes the determinants of institutional interplay between institutions that regulate the conservation and use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the FAO International Treaty on PGRFA (ITPGR), the WTO Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). While interactions among agreements focusing on PGRFA conservation and supply (CBD and ITPGR) and those focusing on PGRFA use (TRIPS and UPOV) have led to synergies, interactions between these two groups have been marked by conflicts over property rights to PGRFA and the distribution of benefits arising out of PGRFA use. Using a combination of institutional analysis and theories of international cooperation, this book systematically compares the relationships between these institutions and explores the conditions for successful interplay management. The analysis reveals factors beyond those commonly identified in interplay research such as overlapping issue areas, contradicting objectives or deliberate issue linkages. While initiatives to consolidate CBD and TRIPS have failed so far, disruptions between ITPGR and UPOV could be overcome through a new governance approach reflecting the physical and socioeconomic conditions of PGRFA conservation and use. This development was supported by the narrow scope and the longer institutional history of ITPGR and UPOV, and the emergence of a network of experts that actively promoted the development of shared approach to PGRFA governance.

Researcher: Jungcurt, Stefan

Advisors: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn