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International conference on Policy Mixes in Environmental and Conservation Policies

25-27 February 2014, Leipzig, Germany: conference website :

Brendan Coolsaet presented 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 (open access).
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.