| FNI PROJECTS
Bioprospecting in the Antarctic: Exploring Options for
the Legal Framework
Bioprospecting is search for and sampling
of biological material which may be useful for scientific or commercial
purposes. Bioprospecting activity in the Antarctic might be increasing, yet its
policy and regulatory framework remains unclear. In order to preserve the
biological diversity and avoid conflicts between stakeholders claiming rights
to genetic resources resulting from bioprospecting, it is important to explore
options towards establishing an appropriate legal framework for this Antarctic
The overall objective of this research project is to
investigate concepts relevant for the establishment of a legal framework for
bioprospecting in the Antarctic. This project investigates legal concepts such
(i) exclusive rights over genetic resources.
(ii) genetic resources
as res nullius.
(iii) genetic resources as public domain.
purpose of the project is to study whether and how these legal concepts can be
applied to bioprospecting in the Antarctic. This study assesses how different
legal concepts relate to both access to genetic resources and sharing of the
resultant benefits. Moreover, the project also analyses how each of these
concepts relate to intellectual property rights. This is expected to contribute
to the knowledge-base on which bioprospecting in the Antarctic can be
Vidas (Project leader)
Tvedt, Morten Walløe,
'Patent law and
bioprospecting in Antarctica'. Polar Record, Vol 47, No 1, 2010, pp.
'United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea'. In Riffenburgh, Beau (ed), Encyclopedia of the
Antarctic. New York, Routledge, 2007, pp. 1017-1018.
The Research Council of
FNI Research on Biological
Diversity. Information brochure (PDF, 0.5 Mb)