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Distributional Issues in the Management of Plant Genetic Resources

THE SHARING OF BENEFITS FROM THE UTILIZATION OF PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE*

Joseph C. Cooper

'Deputy Director, Resource Economics Division, Economic Research Service (United

States Department of Agriculture), 1800 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-5831

Abstract: A major issue in international multilateral negotiations is the creation of a fund for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFAs). This chapter provides a conceptual understanding of the economic value of PGRFAs, identifies proxies for this value that can be used to determine the relative contribution of each country to the benefit-sharing fund, and evaluates the suitability of each proxy to this task.

Key words: agriculture; benefit-sharing; biodiversity; Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; conservation; developing countries; economic value; environmental indicators; International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; plant genetic resources.

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