Bioprospecting, Biodiversity and Novel Uses of Marine Resources - New approaches in international law


Nordic online conference hosted by the University of Gothenburg Department of Law

30 Mar 2021
10:00 - 18:00
Registration deadline
30 March 2021

Good to know
The event is free and open to all. However, the conference will be password protected and pre-registration is required. Registered attendees will receive an email containing the zoom webinar link to this event.
Department of Law
Registration is closed.

About the conference

Recent scientific and technological development has opened the door to new uses of marine resources and transformed our understanding of the oceans. Marine organisms which used to be regarded only as a food resource are now being collected for exploration of their genetic resources and development of biotechnology. Unforeseen values of ecosystem functions performed by different species are becoming increasingly recognized. The ocean and its resources are increasingly regarded as potential tools for climate mitigation. This development has so far only to a limited extent become reflected in rules for management. The broadened understanding of marine resources calls for new perspectives in international law.

This conference aims to enable a discussion among legal academics on the implications for international law of these scientific and technological developments, in four thematic areas:

  • Governance perspectives
  • Areas beyond national jurisdiction
  • Contracts, information and genetic resources
  • Regional perspectives

The discussion will encompass different areas of international law, as well as ongoing developments and domestic implementation, including Nordic perspectives.

Conference Programme

INTRODUCTION (10:00-10:20)

Setting the scene: Research Frontiers in the Exploration of Deep-Sea Biodiversity
Thomas Dahlgren, Researcher, NORCE Norwegian Research Centre


Panel chair: Ambassador Marie Jacobsson, Principal Legal Adviser on International Law at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

1. Governance of marine resources from a stewardship perspective
Richard Barnes, Professor, Lincoln Law School, University of Lincoln

2. Private contracts under a global regime for use of marine genetic resources
Morten Walløe Tvedt, Associate Professor, Molde University College

3. Bioprospecting – at the intersection of three regimes of international law
Niels Krabbe, Doctoral candidate, University of Gothenburg School of Business, Law and Economics


Panel chair: Gabriella Argüello, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Gothenburg School of Business, Law and Economics

1. Tight Lines at Sea: Examining the Management of Fisheries as Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction
Nkeiru Scotcher, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Gothenburg School of Business, Law and Economics

2. Coordinating UNCLOS Regimes: An Analysis of the Interface of the Competencies of the ISA and IMO with respect to Activities in the Area
Aldo Chircop, Professor, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera, Legal Councel, the International Seabed Authority
Fredrik Haag, Head Office for London Convention/Protocol & Ocean Affairs, The International Maritime Organization

3. Future-Proofing the BBNJ Agreement: Techniques for Future Normative Development
Ronan Long, Professor, Director, WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute

4. Towards Effective Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Genetic Resources in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction
Maria Bekiari, Doctoral candidate, Department of Law, Ludwig-Maximilians-University


LUNCH BREAK (13:00-13:30)

Afternoon introductions (13:30-14:10)

Marine biotechnology: From organism to product
Anders Blomberg, Professor Functional Genomics, University of Gothenburg

Challenges in applying international rules in biotechnology development
Thomas Vanagt, Managing Partner, ABS-int


PANEL III: CONTRACTs, Information and genetic resources (14:10-15:20)
Panel chair: David Langlet, Professor of Ocean Governance Law, University of Gothenburg School of Business, Law and Economics

1. Bioprospecting under the Nagoya Protocol and the Sustainable Development Goals
Peter Gottschalk, Senior lecturer, Department of Business Law, Lund University

2. The emergence of Digital Sequence Information (DSI) and its implication for the law on access to genetic resources and bioprospecting
Christian Prip, Senior Policy Analyst, Fridtjof Nansen Institute

3. Marine Biodiscovery, Digital Sequence Information and Traceability
Marcel Jaspars, Professor, Marine Biodiscovery Centre, University of Aberdeen


Common interests and shared responsibility in conserving marine biodiversity beyond national boundaries
Kristina Gjerde, Senior High Seas Advisor, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme


COFFEE BREAK (15:45-16:00)


Panel chair: Nkeiru Scotcher, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Gothenburg School of Business, Law and Economics

1. Bioprospecting in the North Pole
Valeria Eboli, Professor of International Law, Italian Naval Academy and University of Pisa

2. What are the limits of the protection of biodiversity belonging to the sedentary species of the continental shelves within national jurisdiction?
Ekaterina Antsygina, Doctoral candidate, Faculty of Law, Queen's University, Canada

3. Regulation of Marine Bioprospecting in Iceland?
Snjólaug Árnadóttir, Postdoctoral fellow, Reykjavik University

Nordic Perspective (17:10-17:20)

Nordic project on access and rights to genetic resources
Christian Prip, Senior Policy Analyst, Fridtjof Nansen Institute

The European policy perspective (17:20-17:45)

An EU perspective on marine genetic resources in the ongoing BBNJ negotiations
Arianna Broggiato, International Relations officer, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission


CONCLUSION (17:45-18:00)

Changing human uses of marine resources and international law: Looking ahead
David Langlet, Professor of Ocean Governance Law, University of Gothenburg School of Business, Law and Economics


This conference is made possible thanks to a generous contribution by the Nordic Council and support by the Law of the Sea Institute of Iceland and Norwegian Centre for the law of the Sea.