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The New Governance of Natural Resources: Biopatents and Animal Production. Findings from an International Research Project

Dr Peter Feindt, Cardiff School of Planning and Geography
Tuesday 30th April 2013 - 4:00pm
Council Chamber, Glamorgan Building

Public Seminar series hosted by the Environment Research Group.

This presentation discusses the governance of natural resources from an often neglected perspective: the role of property rights. The problem: Plants and animals are the basis of food production, but also the wider bio- and eco-economy.

In contrast to other natural resources, the preservation of agricultural plants and animals is not imperilled by their use but depends on it. The genetic resources on which plant and animal breeding depend are not only self-reproducable but also contain information and thereby qualify as the possible object of intellectual property rights, widely known as biopatents. Over the last thirty years, biopatenting has been almost globally established as a novel layer of multi-level governance. The biopatents regime has also become the object of serious concern from a public policy perspective.

The talk will introduce to the problem and present selected results from a 2.5 year research project on the impacts of biopatents on animal breeding.It will also reflect on how the research has informed policy making at the national and international level.