Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics

Dissertation of Shigeo Watanabe

Successful elements of bioprospecting contracts in case of Namibian Marula Oil

Start: Oktober 08
End: April 13

The fair sharing of benefit arising from the use of the biodiversity is one of the global conflicts in the recent days. In order to control and secure the resource conservation, sustainable resource use, and fairly sharing the benefit from the use of genetic resources, the United Nation (UN) established Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1993. Since then, the CBD has been negotiating the international ABS (Access to genetic resource and Benefit Sharing) framework, especially in order to achieve the third objective of the CBD. The Namibian government has been discussing the correct use of ABS-institution since 2006 and made ABS-contract with the French cosmetic company on the use-right of marula plant oil, produced by Namibian women cooperatives. This doctoral research will analyze the case study of this Namibian ABS contract, from the perspective of institutional economics, in order to investigate its related effects on the sustainable resource use, benefit sharing, and gender equality. This research contains two perspectives, one is the analysis of the elements of the ABS legal contract framework; the other is process analysis on the enforcement of ABS regime. The current Namibian laws and Namibian ABS guideline are compared for the investigation on the changing process of political systems. In addition to document analysis, semi-structured-interviews will be performed with interesting groups on ABS contracts in Namibia and France. The data from interviews will be analyzed by the method of qualitative empirical social research.

Researcher: Watanabe, Shigeo

Cooperation Partners: CRIAA SA-DC (Centre for research information action in Africa, southern African Development & Consulting, Namibia), A SEED JAPAN (Action for Solidarity Equality Environment and Development) (NGO)

Advisors: Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Konrad Hagedorn, PD Dr. Martina Padmanabhan

Funding: Nachwuchsförderungsgesetz des Landes Berlin

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