BENELEX: Dr Elisa Morgera, the Green Economy, and the Role of Law

Dr Elisa Morgera has been awarded a Starting Grant of around 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) to launch a research programme on benefit-sharing, the green economy, and the role of law. 

‘Benefit-sharing for an Equitable Transition to the Green Economy – The Role of Law’ (BENELEX) will investigate benefit-sharing as an under-theorised and little-implemented regulatory approach to ensure intra-generational equity. Benefit-sharing is the allocation among different stakeholders of economic as well as socio-cultural and environmental advantages arising from the use of natural resources

The programme will be the first systematic evaluation of the conceptual and practical relevance of benefit-sharing as a creative and constructive legal tool for equitably addressing global environmental challenges by accommodating the special circumstances, cultural preferences and vulnerabilities of developing countries and of indigenous peoples and local communities in transitioning to the green economy.

The research programme will feature a comparative study of international law. Benefit-sharing is increasingly used not only in a variety of international environmental agreements (biodiversity, oceans, climate change, food and agriculture) but also in human rights and corporate accountability instruments. This comparative study will be enriched by an inter-disciplinary study of the role of ‘biocultural community protocols’ in articulating and implementing benefit-sharing at the intersection of international, transnational, national and indigenous communities’ customary law, while taking into account underlying power dynamics. 

The research team will partner with two NGOs to investigate the use of community protocols in India, Malaysia, South Africa, Guatemala, and in the Greek island of Ikaria. 

The project will also explore benefit-sharing as a case study to better understand the emergence of global environmental law.

Morgera will build a research team (including two legal researchers and a political sociologist) to implement this research programme over the next five years.

Related Links

BENELEX Website 

BENELEX Blog

BENELEX Working Papers

Follow the BENELEX Project on Twitter: @BENELEXedinburg

Find out more about Benefit-sharing: Guest Blog at Global Justice Academy by  Dr Elisa Morgera and Tom Gerald Daly

Related postgraduate study at Edinburgh Law School

LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law

LLM in International Law