Series Editor's Preface

In the course of The ABS Project, IUCN's Environmental Law Centre has taken a central position in promoting researched and balanced analysis of critical components of the current discussions of the international regime on access and benefit sharing under the CBD. The ABS Series provides the culmination of these efforts, enabling recognized experts to undertake intensive research and present detailed, balanced and reasonable analysis. It operates as a counterpoint to the growing numbers of authors whose work in ABS issues is sometimes more focused on advocacy than research. With this Series, we are trying to take a very different approach and to achieve a very different objective. Simply put, we hope to provide a deeper understanding of the legal, economic, practical and factual issues affecting the debate, and to build our analyses and recommendations on intensive legal research.

As a co-author of Beyond Access: Exploring Implementation of the Fair and Equitable Sharing Commitment in the CBD, I have little that can or should be said about the book in this preface, apart from expressing my individual gratitude for the opportunity it has given me to work with a fine legal mind and one of the most excellent collaborators it has been my pleasure to work with in my 20+ years of legal research, analysis and redaction. It was truly a stroke of luck for The ABS Project to find such a lawyer who is both committed and able to address this complex issue with the highest level of legal scholarship and an undeniable desire to find solutions and alternatives that can help promote this issue. I hope that his careful and thoughtful insights and analysis on this and many other important issues will continue to be well recognized in future. I am very grateful to Peter Johan Schei, Director of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, for many contributions of knowledge, experience and insight, as well as for enabling Morten to make this important contribution to international development of this critical issue.

This book and indeed the entire Project owe a great debt to our primary financial supporter, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung or BMZ), and especially to Julia Kaiser, Andrea Laux and Frank Schmiedchen – without whom this work could not have been completed. Numerous other partners and collaborators have also made important and sustaining commitments for which we are very grateful.

Finally, I express our gratitude for the support and foresight of Dr. Alejandro Iza and the IUCN Environmental Law Centre. It was through Dr. Iza's efforts that The ABS Project became a reality, and his understanding of the difficulties in its implementation as well as his support and the unstinting assistance of the staff of the Environmental Law Centre, especially Legal Officer Daniel Klein, Project Assistant Ann DeVoy, Senior Information and Documentation Officer Anni Lukács, Documentation Officer Andrea Lesemann and Documentation Assistant Monica Pacheco-Fabig. Collectively, these individuals have been a primary reason that the Project could finish its work and that outputs throughout the term of the project have achieved the level of legal excellence expected of the IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Papers, among which The ABS Series has been included.

Tomme Rosanne Young
Series Editor and Project Manager, The ABS Project

September, 2007

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