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Centre de Philosophie du Droit,
Université catholique de Louvain

Collège Thomas More

Place Montesquieu 2
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

About us

The research unit on Biodiversity Governance (BIOGOV) is a research unit of the Louvain Open Platform on Ecological and Social Transition (LPTransition) and the Interdisciplinary Institute of Legal Sciences (JUR-I) at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL).

The focus of the research at the BIOGOV unit is on the governance of biodiversity and ecosystem services and the management of sustainability transitions in related fields of research.

Direction : Tom Dedeurwaerdere [personal website]

Research areas

(click on the circles for details) socio-economic motivations institutional and legal regimes environmental ethics and theory of justice governance of common goods Image Map


International Conference: "Motivations and arguments to act for biodiversity. Alternative ways to inspire innovative policy making ."

10-11 June 2015, Brussels
Organized by the BESAFE research consortium and the BIOMOT research consortium.
[Conference website] - [Flyer]

Recent & past events

BEES Christmas market - Sharing knowledge and practices on ecosystem services

December 17th 2014 - ULg campus Agro-Bio Tech Gembloux
The BIOGOV team will present several posters at this conference organized by the Belgium Ecosystem Services (BEES) consortium. All information on their website:

Publication: "Biodiversité et ressources génétiques: la Belgique et le Protocole de Nagoya"

by Brendan Coolsaet, Université catholique de Louvain, and John Pitseys, CRISP

Le présent Courrier hebdomadaire dresse une vue d’ensemble des politiques qui régissent l’échange et l’utilisation des ressources génétiques, aux niveaux international, européen et belge. L’analyse est centrée sur le contenu du Protocole de Nagoya – une attention particulière étant accordée à la notion d’accès et partage des avantages (APA) – et sur sa difficile transposition dans le droit belge. En Belgique, la mise en application du Protocole est en effet confrontée à de multiples défis institutionnels, juridiques, politiques et économiques, dus notamment à la structure fédérale de l’État.

Publication available in print from the CRISP website

Presentation: "Knowledge Brokers, heterogeneity of motivations and advocacy coalitions in Transitions: the Food Security System of Guatemala"

by Jose Luis Vivero Pol, Université catholique de Louvain

Guatemala is a country with one of the highest prevalence of chronic malnutrition in the world, a rather high figure that does not correspond to the economic, social and political development of this middle-income country. The past oblivious attitude by the ruling elites (policy makers, private entrepreneurs and social leaders has shifted in the last decade, and at present hunger eradication is highly placed in the political and economic national agenda. Several clashing clusters have been identified and their rapport de forces assessed, analysing the motivational cohesiveness, the role of bridging institutions (i.e. civil society platforms or social entrepreneurs) in policy convergence and the general role of agents in gradual transitions (those where an internal or external shock is rather absent). The researcher will present the case study, the research undertaken so far and the preliminary results.

The Political Science Research Seminar, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

The Political Science Research Seminar, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
28th October 2014,

2014 Norwich Conference on Earth System Governance: Access and Allocation in the Anthropocene

University of East Anglia, UK, 1-3 July 2014

Brendan Coolsaet will be presenting a paper on "Identifying pathways towards equitable access and allocation: distribution, recognition and participation" (Thursday 3 July, Panel 5.6). The powerpoint presentation is available on Slideshare. All information about the conference and the Earth System Governance Project can be found here.

Food for Sustainability: transdisciplinary workshop

On 15 May 2014 the Food4Sustainability project organized its first transdisciplinary workshop, at BELSPO (Brussels). The event agenda is available here.

Food4Sustainability is a belgian research project financed by BELSPO. Three universities (ULB, KULeuven and UCLouvain) are working on the governance of collective actions in sustainable agro-food systems from 2014 to 2018. More information here.

Side event at the Third Meeting of Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol

27th February 2014, 13:15–14:45, The Asia and the Pacific / Contact Group Room, 2nd Floor

The BIOGOV Unit of the Université Catholique de Louvain and the Micro B3 Consortium, in collaboration with the European Commission, the PharmaSea Consortium and IUCN have organised a side event at the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol, titled: “Marine Genetic Resources and the Nagoya Protocol: Preparing the Marine Scientific Community”. More information in the attached flyer.

Submissions for the Third Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP3)

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) invited Parties, other Governments, international organizations, indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders to submit views and information on ABS-related issues to be discussed at the Third Meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP3). Two of these submissions are based on research conducted by the BIOGOV Unit.

International conference of the BIOMOT consortium

24-25 March 2014, Brussels

The EU FP7 project BIOMOT ( in collaboration with the BIOGOV unit of the Université catholique de Louvain ( organizes an international conference the 24th and 25th of March 2014 in Brussels, at the Natural Sciences Museum.

Update on MicroB3 activities

1. Arianna Broggiato will be presenting "Micro B3 ABS model agreement - Best practice to implement the Nagoya Protocol and foster marine scientific research" at the following event:

New Frontiers in Blue Biotechnology - Research & SME Alliances in Early Drug Discovery
A Lunch Briefing At the Invitation of Ulrike Rodust, MEP
ASP 1E3, European Parliament, 29 January 2014, 13.00 – 15.00

2. Arul Scaria will present "Balancing Dissemination, Protection and compliance - some insights from the Micro B3 project" at the following event:

"Training and awareness seminar on IPRs in the context of H2020" seminar organised by DG Research and Innovation, that will take place in Brussels on 29 January 2014 in the BREYDEL Building.

Colloquium "Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue"

Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, on 24 January 2014

Jose-Luis Vivero will be presenting a paper on “The food commons transition. Collective actions for food security” during the colloquium Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue. The event is organised by the Institute of Social Studies (The Hague), the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam), Food First (California) and the Journal of Peasant Studies.  

An abridged version of the paper has just been published in the magazine The Broker.

International Conference on Policy Mixes in Environmental and Conservation Policies

Leipzig, Germany - 25 - 27 February 2014

Brendan Coolsaet will be presenting the paper "The challenges for implementing the Nagoya Protocol in a multi-level governance context: lessons from the Belgian case" (co-authored with Tom Dedeurwaerdere and John Pitseys). The paper discusses the implementation of the 2010 Nagoya Protocol, which is argued can lead to two fundamentally different policy processes. The first type of process is based on a market-oriented approach, which emphasizes the self-regulating capacity of the economic actors and assumes this is the most effective and efficient mechanism to achieve the objectives of the Protocol and the CBD. The second type of process is based on a normative institutionalist approach, which focuses on the norms and formal rules of institutions that support, frame, shape and constrain the actions of the players acting within them. This second approach relies on the positive institutionalization of the core principles of the ABS regime within national legislation and public policies, beyond the minimal measures for the coordination of the bilateral contracting between economic actors. While the former approach only relies on best efforts of private actors to achieve the social and environmental objectives of the CBD, the latter, by institutionalizing ABS, guarantees that the objectives of the CBD are preserved during the implementation. In other words, the paper shows that if the objectives of the CBD are to be ensured through the implementation of the Protocol, an institutionalist approach should be adopted.

Philosophy of Science in the 21st Century – Challenges and Tasks

4-6 December, 2013 | Lisbon, Portugal

Florin Popa has presented a paper discussing reasons for integrating requirements of societal relevance and legitimacy into research methodology ("Should science become more democratic?"). You can consult the conference agenda and the pdf version of the presentation.

Masterclass on Sustainable Development

22-24 November 2013, Lokeren, Belgium

Brendan Coolsaet has participated in the masterclass' seminar on "Nature™, the boundaries of patenting" with the presentation "Genetic resources, Intellectual Property Rights and Environmental Justice". Powerpoint presentation available on Slideshare.

Seventeenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice

14 - 18 October 2013 - Montreal, Canada

Arianna Broggiato has attended this meeting and presented "Model ABS agreement to implement the Nagoya Protocol and data and materials exchange patterns of the Culture Collections" at the following side event CULTURE COLLECTION NETWORKS COORDINATE ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING. The event included a series of brief presentations demonstrating the value and engagement of ex situ microbial germplasm in developing and implementing access and benefit as well as in characterizing and cataloging invasive microbes.

First International Conference on Global Food Security

Jose Luis Vivero has attended the Conference of Global Food Security between 29 September - 2 October 2013, in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands.

a.- Oral presentation: Food as a Commons: reframing the narrative of the food system

b.- Poster presentation: A binding food treaty to end hunger: Anathema or post-2015 solution

Seminar on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications

Room XXIV, Palais des Nations, Geneva, 3-4 October 2013

Jose Luis Vivero has participated in the seminar with the following presentation: The interactions between the right to food and the right to science: the public good approach.



Download publications: Microbiological commons | Traditional Knowledge | Institutional analysis | Reflexive Governance | Sustainability assessment

On line workshop proceedings: Microbiological commons | Traditional Knowledge | Institutional analysis | Sustainability assessment Access and Benefit Sharing