Benefitting from biodiversity-based innovation

Cristancho-Pinilla, Edwin Arvey (2017) Benefitting from biodiversity-based innovation. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis argues for the need for a more comprehensive discussion of biodiversity use in relation to enhancing benefits of this use for biodiverse countries and promoting more equitable sharing of these benefits. The findings from this doctoral research reveal that biodiversity-based innovation is a social shaping process that has resulted in large benefits. The cumulative capability to use species from biodiversity gives meanings that contribute to the species shaping process, with organisations and institutional changes providing direction and increasing the rate of the shaping process. In showing how innovation takes place and how the appropriation of benefits occurs, this research contributes to studies on science policy and innovation in relation, especially, to biodiversity-based innovation.
The thesis introduces the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol as representing change to the governance of biodiversity. The theoretical approach draws on evolutionary and institutional economics, both of which inform and extend a question that is central in the sociology of technology: That is how are technology (innovation understood as an output) and social practices shaped collectively? Three cases are used to trace what occurs in the shaping process of species from biodiversity: (i) The Jersey cow is a breed within the species Bos Taurus or modern taurine cattle. The isolated character of Jersey delimited the scope of the breed at a point in time when it was being bred locally and allow us to identify its shaping as a ‘technology’, and the broader diffusion of its use. The Jersey cow is used to introduce the theoretical framework and the analysis. (ii) Maca, originally from Peru, is a root crop with nutritional and, allegedly, fertility enhancing properties. It was domesticated in Peru and only a few world regions have conditions favouring its production. Maca is commercialised as flour and used as a raw material. (iii) Quinua has great potential as a staple food crop. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) declared 2013 to be the International Year of Quinoa on the basis of its unique and nutritious character. Three Andean countries (Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru) report exports of quinua grain, although dozens of countries around the world are engaged in performing agronomic testing for its commercial production. A comparative analysis of the three cases helps to identify the science and technology policy issues related to implementation of the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol. The case studies demonstrate the innovation process of species from biodiversity. Benefits arise from the diffusion of the use of the species (via commercialisation), which accrued to individuals or groups. The characterisation of the innovation process highlights how the voices and agency of actors and organisations affected the shaping process. The governance over the goods that emerged from the use of the species defined the appropriation of benefits.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0028 Management. Industrial Management > HD0045 Technological innovations. Automation
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0001 Natural history (General) > QH0075 Nature conservation
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2017 11:14
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2017 11:14
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/72011

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