chapter  3
32 Pages

Common themes in the five local experiences of benefit-sharing

WithLouisa Parks

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Chapter 3 expands on the case studies from Greece, South Africa, Namibia, Argentina, and Malaysia by exploring common themes that emerge from their comparison. Not all of the common themes refer directly to benefit-sharing in the terms often used to define it at the international level. Instead, the framings of local communities are more often linked to the conditions that need to be in place in order for discussions about benefit-sharing to begin, and for any eventual benefit-sharing to stand a chance of being fair and equitable. The common themes show how benefit-sharing is interlinked with core questions of democracy, fairness, and justice in global environmental politics. The central common theme identified is recognition, which is discussed in terms of recognition from without (concerning external actors) and recognition from within (concerning intra-community dynamics). All of the other common themes are linked to this central idea of recognition. They are: support from non-state actors and the organization of communities; complex governance backdrops; procedural guarantees (and in particular information and voice); the importance of non-monetary benefits; and a view of benefit-sharing as a process.