Learning from the practitioners: benefit sharing perspectives from enterprising communities

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the first international instrument to deal with issues of ethics and equity with regard to the sharing of benefits derived from genetic resources between those who have conserved them and those who exploit them. This study uses an analytical framework to take a closer look at benefit sharing by focusing on inter- and intra-community equity in economic transactions related to bioprospecting. Specifically, it examines the management and use of biological resources for income generating activities at the local level by the providers of the resources. The study also focuses on how various communities in a range of ecosystems share the benefits derived from economic activities and how that affects their ability to meet their needs and ensure social and economic well-being. Representatives of fourteen communities from various ecosystems provided information on their priorities for resource use and management, acquisition of benefits and mechanisms for the distribution of benefits among their members, including challenges they face in the process.