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The World Intellectual Property Organisation - a Model for UN Environmental Reform?

The World Intellectual Property Organisation - a Model for UN Environmental Reform?

Enblem of the United NationsThe Ecologic Institute analyzes the pertinence of using elements of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in shaping international environmental governance reform. Christiane Gerstetter, Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf and Susanah Stoessel, the authors of the study, conclude that the WIPO model is illustrative for the debate on reforming international environmental governance. At the same time, however, important disparities in the substance and policies of intellectual property and environmental protection exist. The Ecologic study is available for download.

WIPO is an international organization that administers a considerable number of international intellectual property agreements under its roof. What serves to be learned from the WIPO example is how it maintains a complex structure, which is at the same time effective in accomplishing its objectives. It is a structure that strives to reap the benefits of collaboration while avoiding the drawbacks of legal confusion and loss of focus. This makes it an interesting case for potential lessons for improving international environmental governance. At the same time, however, the WIPO system protects something very different – and decidedly narrower – in character than the environment.

The report "The World Intellectual Property Organization - An Institutional Model for UN Environmental Reform?" [pdf, 527 KB, English] is available for download. The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsor, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.