The research unit on Biodiversity governance (BIOGOV) is a research unit of the Centre for Philosophy of Law (CPDR) at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). Its focus is on law, environmental economics and governance of biodiversity. This research is developed in international (EU-FP7) and national (IUAP VI/06) research networks.
Direction : Tom Dedeurwaerdere [personal website]
IUCN Information Papers for the Intersessional Workshop on Marine Genetic Resources, 2 - 3 May 2013
Arianna Broggiato has contributed to this IUCN publication with two chapters: Information Paper 7 – Global and Regional Regimes on Genetic Resources, Experiences and Best Practices and Information Paper 8 – Exchange of Information on Research Programs Regarding Marine Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction.
Genomic Observatories Network workshop (GOs2) on "Marine Genomic Observation Systems", 25-26 of April, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution (Washington)
La justice environnementale: Enjeux philosophiques et politiques (Louvain-la-Neuve), Wednesday 24 avril 2013
Brendan Coolsaet will be discussing the participatory aspects of international environmental justice. The event poster is available here.
United Nations intersessional workshop on marine genetic resources, 2-3 May 2013, New York
International Workshop on ‘Tendencies towards environmental technocracy’, University of Troyes (FR), 25-26 April 2013
Florin Popa will present a paper on "'Questioning the current economic technocracy: the case of pro-environmental motivations".
The 11th Conference of the International Network for Economic Method, Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL), 13-15 June 2013
The paper "The impact of capital sustainability assumptions on the economic valuation of ecosystem services" (Florin Popa) has been accepted for presentation at the conference. More info on the conference site.
Food as a Commodity, Human Right or Common Good? Implications for Hunger Eradication (UN Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva, 9 April 2013)
The paper discusses the three competing paradigms to fight hunger and reach a fairer, more sustainable food system: the Food and Nutrition Security narrative, that considers hunger a human need that must be satisfied; the Right to Food narrative, that presents the human rights as its cornerstone; and the Food Sovereignty narrative, that considers food as a commons and not as a mere commodity. He will present then the multi-dimensional meanings of food to human societies (customary and current ones) and elaborate more on the commodification of food and food producing resources as well as the development of food as a human right (examples of right to food in Latin America will be presented). The goal is to establish a link with the current crises of the Global Food System and why the current market driven production and allocation of food cannot guarantee a right to food for all (or food justice and sustainable production). In order to address the structural flaws of the global food system his proposal would be that we should consider food as a commons (in political terms), or an impure public good (in economic terms), promoting a gradual shift towards trycentric governance systems (based on Elinor Ostrom's work), where market rules, governmental regulations and collective actions arrangements pave the way for a fairer and more sustainable food system.
MICROB3 stakeholders workshop (Brussels, 27-28 February 2013)
A MICROB3 stakeholders workshop, titled “Towards a Model Agreement on Access and Benefit Sharing for Marine Genetic Resources (with a focus on marine micro-organisms)”, was organized in Bruxelles on the 27 and 28 of February 2013, by the Université catholique de Louvain. Ten MICROB3 partners met with different stakeholders: legal experts; scientists; economists; industry, government and culture collections representatives to discuss the legal work undertaken so far by WP8, and especially the model Access and Benefit Sharing Agreement for marine genetic resources, being drafted as a deliverable of the WP. Five providing countries participated to the meeting with representatives from the scientific, legal and ministerial sectors. Four other EU consortia were also attending: BlueGenics, MIRRI, PharmaSea, SeaBioTech. The workshop was organized with a seminar first day where legal and scientific experts introduced the framework of the ABS agreement and its synergies with research and development, and a more interactive second day where stakeholders analised the core clauses of the Agreement in two parallel sessions: one dealing with access to genetic material and the other with data management. An industry and EU consortia panel highlighted their positions in relation to applied research and intellectual property rights related issues. The Ocean Sampling Day initiative was also discussed and the involvement of four possible new sites for sampling was considered.
"Ideals and Reality in Social Ethics" Annual Conference (University of Wales, Newport, United Kingdom, 19-21 March 2013)
Florin Popa has presented a paper on "How can 'multiple legitimate perspectives' create reliable knowledge?". The author considers the relation between distinct requirements underlying the scientific enterprise (validity, relevance, legitimacy) and argues for a revised understanding of how they interact in the research process and in connecting science with society and policy-making. In the last three decades, several proposals to reframe the epistemological and social basis of science were put forward, with a strong focus on the ‘social robustness’ (Gibbons, 1999) and legitimacy of scientific knowledge. We argue that the insights of the post-normal approach need to be further developed and adjusted to the specificity of different contexts of applications. This further development should focus on a systematic integration of deliberation, collective learning and reflexivity in scientific practice. However, this process only becomes possible once we give up the rigid influential distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic components of scientific practice and focus on the epistemic potential of socio-normative (allegedly non-epistemic) elements. We illustrate the interplay and mutual reinforcement of epistemic and social legitimacy with the case of environmental risk assessment.
IUCN Seminar on Marine Genetic Resources in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (Bonn, 4-6 February 2013)
Arianna Broggiato has participated in this event with two presentations:
(1) "Global and regional regimes on genetic resources, experiences and best practices" and
(2) "Exchange of information on research programmes regarding marine biodiversity in areas
beyond national jurisdiction".
International Conference "Challenges to Participation in Democracy" (University of Lisbon, 16-17 May 2013)
The paper "Extended participation in the epistemic community: towards a revised normative foundation for science" (Florin Popa) has been accepted for presentation at the conference. Go to the conference site and agenda.
Earth System Governance Tokyo Conference : Complex Architectures, Multiple Agents (28 – 31 January 2013, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan)
The paper “Fair and equitable governance? Procedural justice in the negotiations on the Nagoya Protocol” by Brendan Coolsaet, has been accepted for presentation at the ESG Tokyo Conference.
The growing complexity of environmental issues in international relations and their interdependence, as well as the distribution of resources and (bargaining) power among states, generate unequal participation opportunities in multilateral negotiations on the environment. This fosters an unfair decision-making process and increases the perception of injustice among weaker participants, which on its turn fosters distrust and threatens the effectiveness of global efforts to halt the global environmental crisis. In 2010, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) established the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS). With its obvious implications for North-South relations, and given the unbalanced participation opportunities between Parties, the question arises as to the necessary conditions to allow for a fair and equitable benefit-sharing to take place. We argue that a first obvious condition lies in a decision-making process that is similarly fair and equitable, or in other words, a process governed by the principles of procedural justice.
Guest article on BIOGOV in the BIOECON newsletter
Call for Proposals - "Triangulating Property Rights"
The Center on Global Legal Transformation at Columbia University is launching a call for proposals by junior researchers on governing scarce, yet essential goods. The research project is coordinated by Prof. Katharina Pistor, the Director of the Center on Global Legal Transformation, and Prof. Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food. Memos should be submitted by 15 January 2013 to the project coordinator, Claire Debucquois, at email@example.com. Selected proposals shall be presented at panel sessions at a conference held in New York on 20-21 June 2013.
The call is available here.
The Xth International Ontology Congress: PHYSIS. FROM ELEMENTARY PARTICLES TO HUMAN NATURE (San Sebastian 1-6 October 2012 / Barcelona 8-9 October 2012)
Mathieu Guillermin held a presentation on "Epistemic values and realism in quantum mechanics: the case of contemporary solutions to the EPR controversy" (M. Guillermin, T. Dedeurwaerdere).
Abstract: The EPR controversy between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr is one of the most essential contemporary debates in physics with respect to the issue of realism. Based on the Bell's inequalities, the experimental test settled the debate in favor of Bohr and the completeness of quantum mechanics. In this paper, we consider the idea according to which, in the quantum context, several epistemic values traditionally leading the scientific activity are in conflict. The settling of the EPR controversy could indicate that those epistemic values cannot be consistently held together in the quantum context. The controversy leads to question admitted principles, such as the locality, the requirement of semantic references to the reality in itself and the independence of experimental results with respect to the observer, all tightly connected with the realistic conceptions of the world. This paper characterizes several selected contemporary approaches in quantum context with respect to the modification of the set of epistemic principles they adopt to restore its consistency.
Workshop: "Philosophy of interdisciplinarity: What is interdisciplinary success?", Lund University, Sweden (4-5 October 2012)
Florin Popa held a presentation on "Problem framing in interdisciplinary research on sustainability. The case of social-ecological systems." (F. Popa, M. Guillermin, T. Dedeurwaerdere).
Abstract: We discuss the conceptual model used in framing sustainability problems and argue that a conceptual clarification and reframing is needed in order to assess the relevance and potential of interdisciplinarity in sustainability research. Methodological choices (whether they are interdisciplinary or not) are guided by the way sustainability problems are framed. By acknowledging the different elements that shape problem framing, including cognitive and socio-normative variables underlying the research process itself, sustainability research can be carried out on a more solid epistemological foundation.
The 14th Annual BIOECON Conference: Resource Economics, Biodiversity Conservation and Development (18-20 September 2012, Kings College Cambridge, England)
The paper "The economic impacts of biodiversity policy for improving the climate regulating services provided by EU Natura 2000 habitats by Helen Ding*, Anil Markandya and Paulo A.L.D. Nunes has been accepted for presentation in this event.
Abstract: We adopted the state-of-the-art methodologies to quantify the total carbon stocked by Natura 2000 habitats as well as to project the future changes of carbon stocks influenced by alternative policy options for the management of Natura 2000 habitats by 2020. Our results show that the N2K network currently stores around 9.6 billion tonnes of Carbon, equivalent to 35 billion tonnes of CO2, which is estimated to be worth between €607 billion and €1,130 billion (stock value in 2010), depending on the price attached to a ton of carbon. Of the different ecosystems the forest habitats contain the highest carbon value in the network, ranging between €318 and €610 billion in 2010. Furthermore, our results also show that in the future these carbon values can be increased. A policy scenario (Policy ON), where full Protected Area coverage (terrestrial PAs + fuller MPAs) with a move to full favourable conservation status is estimated to generate a gain of at least a total of 1.71-2.86% by 2020 compared to a policy inaction scenario (Policy OFF), where no additional action is taken to conserve the current Natura 2000 sites over the next decade.