Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development: QUT Symposium

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QUT Faculty of Law Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program:

Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development


Thursday, 6 September 2018

8:30am to 5:00pm

OJW Room, Level 12, S Block

QUT Gardens Point Campus


This event considers the relationship between intellectual property and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The new Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has expressed concerns about the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. “Implementation has begun, but the clock is ticking… The rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030.” The Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization Francis Gurry has emphasized the interconnections between intellectual property and the Innovation Goal (SG9). He also stressed that innovation has an impact on a number of other SDGs, such as SDG2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture), SDG3, SDG6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), SDG7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), SDG 8, SDG11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable), and SDG13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).

This event will provide a systematic consideration of the linkages between intellectual property and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As well as keynote speaker Associate Professor Sara Bannerman, this event will feature speakers from QUT, Griffith University, and the University of Queensland. It will help build a culture of transdisciplinary research. This event is part of the research theme of international trade and sustainable development at the QUT IP and Innovation Law Research Program. This will also boost the Faculty’s work in respect of international law and global governance. It will also cover issues such as access to knowledge, public health, access to clean energy and climate change, and the global economy. This event in particular will focus upon the global issues within the remit of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Development Agenda.

Session 1

Intellectual Property and the Sustainable Development Agenda

Associate Professor Sara Bannerman, Canada Research Chair in Communication Policy and Governance, McMaster University


The discourse of sustainable development articulates a change in the relationship between international intellectual property institutions and the global political economy. Just as the discourse of development (in the 1960s and 70s, and again in the last fifteen years) animated a rearticulation of the roles and mandates of international intellectual property institutions, the discourse of sustainable development calls for a new round of change.

This paper evaluates the discourse of sustainable development as it is brought to bear within the global intellectual property system. The Sustainable Development Goals seek to engage and animate networks to end poverty and hunger, achieve dignity and equality, and to build a healthy environment. In part one, I discuss the ways in which the international intellectual property system in currently engaged in the sustainable development agenda. In part two, I examine the similarities between the sustainable development agenda, established in 2015, and the development agendas that, between 2001 and 2015, engaged the international intellectual property system. In part three, I examine the key differences between the agendas of development and sustainable development, and the significance of these differences in the context of international intellectual property. Finally, I discuss the road ahead.


Sara Bannerman, Canada Research Chair in Communication Policy and Governance, is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at McMaster University in Canada. She teaches on communication policy and governance. She has published two books on international copyright: International Copyright and Access to Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and The Struggle for Canadian Copyright: Imperialism to Internationalism, 1842–1971 (UBC Press, 2013), as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on international copyright, international copyright history, and other topics in new media, traditional media, and communications theory. Bannerman is a Vice Chair of the Law Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

Session 2

Open Access, Equity and the Sustainable Development Goals

Professor Virginia Barbour, Director AOASG, QUT


Open access originally focused on ensuring access to read and reuse research. However, as the movement has evolved it has begun to address many of the other problems with inequity in the scholarly publishing system, including inequity in ability to publish, the effects of lack of access in innovation, especially in less developed countries, and how traditional models of publishing and incentive structures serve many areas of academia very poorly.

This year’s Open Access week theme “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge” addresses the issues of equity and inequity in the system head on. By both explicitly stating the need for equity and the need for purposeful design of the system, it also resonates with the principles in Goal 4 (Quality Education) and Goal 9 (Industry Innovation and Infrastructure) of the Sustainable Development Goals


Professor Virginia (Ginny) Barbour is Director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group and Advisor to the Office of Research Ethics & Integrity and the Library at QUT.

In 2004 she was one of the three founding editors of PLOS Medicine. She was the journal’s first Chief Editor, ultimately becoming PLOS Medicine and Biology Editorial Director. She chaired the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) from 2012-May 2017.

She has a medical degree from Cambridge University, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford.

She has been involved with many Open Access, publishing, reporting and ethics initiatives, currently including HIFA and Evidence AID. She writes for the Conversation.

The Benefits of Job Automation are Not Likely to be Shared Equally

Dr Md Shahiduzzaman, Research Fellow, Chair in Digital Economy, Queensland University of Technology


In this paper, we draw upon recent evidences on wage inequality and productivity growth in advanced countries in the world. Although there is overwhelming data about rising economic surpluses from automation, recent evidence indicates that the growth of productivity and the growth of workers’ wages are not actually linked. Companies might reap significant gains in productivity from automating certain jobs, this won’t necessarily lead to pay rises for everyone. Contemporary evidence suggests businesses might pass on the gains to some workers, but not to all. Some 40% of all jobs are predicted to disappear with automation in Australia. Now we are starting to see the effect of automation everywhere and especially in productivity and economic growth statistics. It’s expected that automation will make a trillion of dollars of productivity boost between 2015 and 2030. But whether productivity gains will be redistributed equally, remains highly questionable. For example, in the United States, recent research shows a large divergence between productivity and median hourly compensation growth, from 2000 to 2011. Similarly, in Australia, we found wage growth lagging productivity growth, across most sectors of the economy. Average productivity growth was much higher than average wage growth in most sectors of the Australian economy during 2012–16. The paper reviews recent trends in data and empirical evidence in the context.


Dr Md Shahiduzzaman is a productivity analyst and researcher in digital economy at the Chair in Digital Economy, Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He has been actively researching on the impacts of technology to economy, industries and fast-growth small-to-medium enterprises for long. Dr Shahid has published +50 papers in the areas of economic growth, productivity and digital economy — many of these published in leading international journals such as International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Telecommunications Policy, Economic Analysis and Policy, Economic Change and Restructuring, Journal of Rural Studies, Energy Economics, Global Environmental Change and so forth.

Shahid’s work has also been published in the Conversation and Australian Financial Review and industry reports. He has led national and international research projects.

Session 3

The Inspiration of Joseph Stiglitz: Intellectual Property, Sustainable Development, and Inequality

Professor Matthew Rimmer


This essay considers the distinctive contribution of Joseph Stiglitz to the debate about intellectual property, sustainable development, and inequality. Stiglitz has been widely celebrated for his economic work. He received the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001; and the Sydney Peace Prize in 2018. Throughout his career, Stiglitz has demonstrated a strong interest in the topic of inequality. In the field of trade, Stiglitz has written on Globalization and Its Discontents (2003), Making Globalization Work (2007), and Fair Trade for All (2007). He has been an ardent critic of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. His book The Price for Inequality (2012) examines different dimensions of inequality in the United States. Stiglitz has also shown a deep interest in education and sustainable development. His co-authored book Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress (2014) focuses upon education, knowledge, and development.

In the area of intellectual property, Stiglitz has shown an interest in a number of areas of intellectual property and development. In the area of access to medicines, he has been vocal about the impact of patents upon public health and human rights. Likewise, in the area of gene patents, Stiglitz highlighted questions of intellectual property and inequality in the context of the controversy over Myriad Genetics. In collaboration with Baker and Jayadev, Stiglitz has published a long policy paper, Innovation, Intellectual Property, and Development (2017). This work focuses upon the basic logic of intellectual property and its alternatives — such as direct financing, and patent prize financing. The work considers intellectual property and food, agriculture, and plant genetic resources. Stiglitz along with Baker, Jayadev have also considered intellectual property and climate change. They have focused upon education and intellectual property as well — highlighting copyright and access to educational materials; parallel importation; exceptions to copyright infringement; and compulsory licensing. Stiglitz, Baker, and Jayadev have advocated the refashioning of the intellectual property regime to promote sustainable development through the use of flexibilities, compensatory liability regimes, and alternative mechanisms. They have also promoted the development of a knowledge commons, and keeping publicly funded innovation in the public domain.


Dr Matthew Rimmer is a Professor in Intellectual Property and Innovation Law at the Faculty of Law, at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He is a leader of the QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law research program, and a member of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre (QUT DMRC) the QUT Australian Centre for Health Law Research (QUT ACHLR), and the QUT International Law and Global Governance Research Program (QUT IP IL).

Rimmer has published widely on copyright law and information technology, patent law and biotechnology, access to medicines, plain packaging of tobacco products, intellectual property and climate change, and Indigenous Intellectual Property. He is currently working on research on intellectual property, the creative industries, and 3D printing; intellectual property and public health; and intellectual property and trade, looking at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Trade in Services Agreement. His work is archived at QUT ePrints SSRN Abstracts Bepress Selected Works.

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Innovation with a Purpose: Can Technology Innovation Revolutionize Health and Well-being?

Muhammad Zaheer Abbas, QUT


Good health holds a central role in sustainable development as it enhances the ability of a community to develop human capital, undertake productive economic activities, and attract investment. Provision of universal public health is an indispensable requirement for sustainable development and it deserves to be a priority as this is a matter of basic justice and human rights. This paper focuses on the potential role of technology innovation in achieving global health goals. After providing a background to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) №3: Good Health and Well-being, this study focuses on the following research questions: To what extent can the current innovation system help in achieving health-related SDGs? What are implications of the current innovation system for poorer and middle-income countries pursuing health-related SDGs? What are policy options available, in the current international legal regimes, for third world countries to improve universal public health despite budget constraints? What steps can be taken at an international level to harmonise technological innovation policy with the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, especially, global health goals?


Mr. Muhammad Zaheer Abbas is a lecturer in law at International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. He is currently conducting his PhD research at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) as a recipient of QUT Postgraduate Research Award (QUTPRA). He studied Law at International Islamic University, Islamabad and obtained BA General and LLB (Hons) with distinction in 2010. He also obtained LLM in International Law, with distinction, from the same university in 2012.

He has nearly 7 years of legal teaching and research experience at university level. He also served as Associate Editor of ‘Islamabad Law Review’, a peer reviewed open access research journal of Faculty of Shariah & Law. He has published 10 research papers, related to intellectual property protection and the public interest, in reputed peer-reviewed journals. His research publications include:

· “WTO Paragraph 6 System for Affordable Access to Medicines: Relief or Regulatory Ritualism”, Journal of World Intellectual Property, 2018;

· “Compulsory licensing and access to medicines: TRIPS amendment allows export to least-developed countries”, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, 2017;

· “Rationale of Compulsory Licensing of Pharmaceutical Patents in the Light of Human Rights Perspective”, Pakistan Perspectives, 2014;

· “TRIPS Flexibilities: Implementation Gaps between Theory and Practice”, Nordic Journal of Commercial Law, 2013;

In 2014, Mr. Abbas got an opportunity to attend the “Winter Institute” held at the College of William & Mary, Virginia, and Georgetown University, Washington D.C. In 2018, he attended the 15th WTO-WIPO Colloquium for Teachers of Intellectual Property held at Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Abbas has been an active legal academic and researcher and has published and presented regularly in his area of teaching and research interest.

‘Tobacco a Threat to Development’: Tobacco Control and Sustainable Development

Sanath Sameera Wijesinghe, QUT


‘Tobacco a Threat to Development’ was the theme of ‘World No Tobacco-Day 2017’, which emphasized the State obligations towards implementation of tobacco control measures to promote public health and well-being, eradication of poverty and sustainable development. The globalization of tobacco epidemic has been one of the most challenging problems in the world as its multi-dimensional nature such as the relationship with health, economy, trade, investment and human rights. Also, it is worth noting that the health and economic burden of tobacco directly affects to the law and middle-income countries when comparable to high income countries. Inevitably, if there is no proper mechanism in place to combat tobacco epidemic, the development will be another dream for such countries. Therefore, it is amply clear that the tobacco control can be viewed through a lens of sustainable development and can be considered as part and parcel of sustainable development agenda. Interestingly, tobacco control measures can link with sustainable development goals (SDGs) such as promote health and well-being (Goal 3), preservation of environment (Goal 12), and goals relating to income and social life such as no poverty (Goal 1), zero hunger (Goal 2) and decent work and economic growth (Goal 8). However, the relationship between tobacco control and health and well-being will be central for the discussion of this research. Firstly, this research aims to discuss the impact of World Health Organization’s Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in achieving SDG 3; good health and well-being. Then, it explores different tobacco control measures practiced by State parties to the WHO FCTC and its efficacy in combating tobacco epidemic. Thereafter, it intends to identify challenges of implementing such tobacco control measures. Finally, it aims to make suggestions to achieve sustainable development in general and health and well-being of the people in particular through better implementation of tobacco control measures.


Sanath Sameera Wijesinghe, is a lecturer in law at the Department of Legal Studies of the Open University of Sri Lanka. He currently engages in his PhD research at School of Law, Queensland University of Technology. His area of PhD research is plain packaging of tobacco products in the South Asian region. He teaches intellectual property law, constitutional law, land law, business law and jurisprudence in the Open University of Sri Lanka and some other Sri Lankan State universities.

He has done several publications including peer-reviewed journal articles on protection of geographical indications, tobacco control and intellectual property rights, collective management of copyrights and related rights and some aspects on international humanitarian law.

Session 4

Gender Equality in REDD+ and Equitable Benefit Sharing

Dr Rowena Maguire, QUT


Sustainable Development Goal 5 seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Women and girls need equal access to education, health care, decent work and representation in political and economic decision-making processes. The equal participation of women in decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. Women have an important role to play in fulfilling the sustainable development goals in shaping sustainability policy at international and national levels and in being involved at the grass roots level to implement sustainable practices. Research demonstrates that there are differential implications of climate change for women and men. Due to the social roles that women perform (food production, water harvesting, cooking, and caring) women will feel the impacts of climate change in daily life. This presentation will explore the Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) mechanism within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change focusing on benefit sharing mechanisms and issue arising for women in this context. The presentation will focus on issues of property rights and participation for women and discuss the need for amending current REDD+ safeguards to consider gender in project implementation.


Dr Rowena Maguire examines how climate and environmental law impacts upon vulnerable populations. Her PhD focused on forest regulation and led to a collaboration with Cambridge University to implement a donor funded project in Kenya. Rowena then explored how countries share the burden of addressing climate change as a Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Project.

Rowena is currently working on projects examining the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation upon women and exploring mechanisms for enhanced gender representation in climate forums and the implementation of gender-responsive climate policy.

Plants, Patents, and Power: Terminalia ferdinandiana, Intellectual Property, and the Empowerment of Women in Australia

Jocelyn Bosse, University of Queensland


The rich knowledge of Indigenous women has an important role to play in conservation and sustainable use of biological resources, but is often unrepresented in policy discussion. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals recognize that gender equality, including the representation of women in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit society. To that effect, a key target is to “ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life”.

Historically, the intellectual property regime has been a tool for the appropriation of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge, such as the patent claims over the Australian native plant, the Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana). These intellectual property rights were obtained without the consent or involvement of Aboriginal communities in northern Australia, for whom the fruit has strong cultural value. Today, Indigenous women in remote communities have harnessed the access and benefit sharing frameworks, developed pursuant to the Convention on Biological Diversity 1992, to harvest Terminalia ferdinandiana and develop collaborative research projects with leading female food scientists. The paper will critically examine the assumptions that pervade the intellectual property system, and reflect upon how women are asserting the value of their knowledge, innovations, and decision-making in the context of current Terminalia ferdinandiana research and commercialisation.


Jocelyn Bosse is a PhD student, ARC Laureate Project Harnessing Intellectual Property to Build Food Security, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland.

Jocelyn’s research explores the circulation of Terminalia ferdinandiana along agricultural commodity chains and the role of the law in shaping social relationships of production, exchange, attribution and reciprocation.

Indigenous Knowledge and Intellectual Property: Effectuating a “Dialogue of Knowledges”

David J. Jefferson, JD


In its 2016 and 2017 reports, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues made several recommendations surrounding how Indigenous peoples could be better integrated into the 2030 Agenda. A primary suggestion was to protect and promote the rights of Indigenous peoples, as reflected in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This Declaration, in turn, recognises that respect for Indigenous knowledge, cultures, and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development. This recognition is visible in Article 31 of the UNDRIP, which states that Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their traditional knowledge, as well as the manifestations of their sciences and technologies.

Despite the fact that the United Nations has repeatedly acknowledged the importance that Indigenous knowledge holds for sustainable development, no international consensus currently exists surrounding how this knowledge should be legally protected. In this paper, I present a case study of Ecuador to illustrate how an individual State has established national-level protections for Indigenous knowledge in the absence of a binding international framework. Although recently enacted Ecuadorian legislation governs Indigenous knowledge alongside conventional forms of intellectual property, I demonstrate how this regime attempts to move beyond standard proprietary logics to protect Indigenous knowledge according to its own terms. This system endeavours to create a “dialogue of knowledges,” in which Indigenous knowledge can interact with scientific knowledge to address important sustainable development challenges. However, while the Ecuadorian law extends novel opportunities to Indigenous peoples, it could also serve to encourage these groups to “culturalise” and by extension to render their cultural goods according to increasingly possessive — if not necessarily proprietary — logics.


David J. Jefferson is a PhD Candidate with the ARC Laureate Project ‘Harnessing Intellectual Property to Build Food Security’ at the TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland. Mr Jefferson is also a lawyer licensed in California, USA and the Law and Policy Analyst at the Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture (PIPRA), a non-governmental organisation based at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on the intersection of intellectual property, agriculture, native genetic resources, and Indigenous knowledge. Mr Jefferson’s PhD field work in Ecuador was supported by a United States Fulbright Scholarship.

Session 5

Revealing the Myths and Complexities of Community Seed Banks

Dr Kamalesh Adhikari, the University of Queensland


Sustainable Development Goal 2 sets a number of targets for countries to end hunger, achieve food security, and promote sustainable agriculture. Of these, the creation and management of “seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels” is an important target that countries are required to address by 2020. An assumption under this target is that seed and plant banks would “maintain […] genetic diversity” and that these banks would “promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge”. This assumption is more apparent in a number of scholarly research and global reports that discuss community seed banks in developing and least-developed countries. In this paper, I present a case study of Nepal in order to challenge some prior assumptions, if not claims, about the theory and practice of community seed banks. In so doing, I discuss a number of myths and complexities that affect the conservation, circulation, use, access, and benefit sharing of genetic resources within and through community seed banks. I also discuss how these myths and complexities create challenges for establishing linkages between local, national and international gene banks, including the multilateral system of access and benefit sharing of the Plant Treaty. I argue that failing to understand the myths and complexities of community seed banks not only affects the relationship of community seed banks with national and international gene banks, but also limits the potential of realising the goal of the multilateral system of access and benefit sharing and of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Dr Kamalesh Adhikari is AIBE Research Fellow and Member of the ARC Laureate Project ‘Harnessing Intellectual Property to Build Food Security’ at the TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland. Dr Adhikari’s current research looks at the role of networks, informality and community seed banks in shaping the governance of biodiversity and seed systems across developing and least-developed countries.

He is also undertaking a critical account of the concept of farmers’ rights in intellectual property law.

Sustainable Cities and Communities: The challenge of the megacity in the Global South

Dr Peter Walters, the University of Queensland


Cities are where the world’s population growth will take place in the 21st Century, particularly cities of the Global South. Cities have their own sustainable development goal, but it is in cities where the other development goals will also succeed or fail. The goal of creating socially, economically and environmentally sustainable cities is not just a responsibility of the Global South. In this presentation I will outline some of the major challenges facing the urban poor in some of the world’s fastest growing megacities. Drawing on my own research I will address the growing informal economy, corruption, social inclusion; and citizenship and civil society. I will argue that while these are challenges located in the global south; citizens of the affluent industrialised nations all have a stake in this challenge.


Dr Peter Walters an urban sociologist who teaches and researches in the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland. His research includes urban community and change, gentrification as well as disaster resilience.

He has recently completed a research project on urban poverty and citizenship in Bangladesh and is working on a book titled The Authentic City.

The Tesla battery: Energy justice or just business-as-usual?

Aleesha Rodriguez


During the spring and summer of 2016/2017, South Australia experienced multiple widespread blackouts that quickly became the symbol of Australia’s ‘energy crisis’ — a political device to fuel contentious energy policy at both the State and National level. Tesla subsequently became involved — via a bet on Twitter — installing the ‘world’s largest’ lithium-ion battery and since then the idea of ‘battery storage’ has been adopted in the vernacular of energy debates in Australia. Clearly, battery storage is an important actor in SDG 7: ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. But a closer examination of the case in South Australia and the Tesla battery uncovers some markers that the battery is ‘business-as-usual’ rather than a disruption of ‘energy justice.’ This presentation will draw attention to three matters of concern and underscore why a critical examination of the Tesla battery is necessary while the energy storage industry is still seeding in Australia.


Aleesha is a PhD student in the Digital Media Research Centre at QUT. She advocates for better society-nature relations and her research interest is on the intersection of the environment, technology, and society. Aleesha’s academic background includes history, ancient history, studies of religion, and sociology; she has industry experience as a Mac and iOS technician for Apple; and she currently volunteers with the Australia Youth Climate Coalition.

Session 6

Access and Benefit Sharing Genetic Resources, Sustainable Development and Conservation?

Professor Charles Lawson, Griffith University


Tracing back to the origins of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity this talk will follow the economic and equity threads through the evolution of access and benefit sharing. The balance between conservation and economic development as a grand plan appears thwarted. There are new possibilities. The crucible of access and benefit sharing genetic resources may just be the place for this new thinking?


Charles Lawson is a Professor in the Griffith Law School, Griffith University. He studied science and law at The Australian National University and holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in biochemistry and genetics and a Bachelor of Laws. He also holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the ANU’s Research School of Biological Sciences in molecular biology and biochemistry and a Master of Laws from Queensland University of Technology for research into gene patenting and competition. Before joining the university sector he worked as a lawyer in both the private and public sectors, including at the Australian Government Solicitor and the Commonwealth Department of Finance and Deregulation. His research focus is on patents and public administration law.

Ocean Acidification and SDG 14: Legal Issues

Associate Professor Saiful Karim, QUT


One of the targets under SDG 14 is to “[m]inimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels” (14.3). Ocean acidification is another problem created by carbon dioxide emissions alongside global warming. According to the 2017 Report of the UN Secretary-General on the progress towards the SDGs: “[s]tudies of marine acidity at open ocean and coastal sites around the world have indicated that current levels are often outside preindustrial bounds.” Ocean acidification coupled with ocean warming and deoxygenation are creating serious threat to the marine biodiversity. Although Paris Agreement mentions about ocean, it does not specifically address the issue of ocean acidification. Ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation are not directly covered in the existing international regulatory framework for climate change, ocean governance, marine environment, fisheries and environment. A critical re-examination of the international regulatory framework for these sectors is needed. Against this backdrop, this paper highlights the inadequacy of existing legal framework and its consequential impact on the achievement of the target 14.3 of SDG 14.


Dr Saiful Karim is an Associate Professor and the Director International of the School of Law, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia. He has held Visiting Faculty position at Sydney University where he taught a postgraduate course on Asia Pacific Environmental Law. He also taught law at southern Cross University and Macquarie University. He was a consultant at the University of the South Pacific. He practiced at a Singapore law firm. He was a lawyer of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA). He teaches and researches in different areas of international law, law of the sea and environmental law. Saiful has published extensively in the fields of public international law, law of the sea and environmental law and has presented research papers in many conferences and workshops organised by various academic and research organisations based in Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. Saiful is the author of following three books: Prevention of Pollution of the Marine Environment from Vessels: The Potential and Limits of the International Maritime Organisation (Springer, 2015), Maritime Terrorism and the Role of Judicial Institutions in the International Legal Order (Brill-Nijhoff, 2017) and Shipbreaking in Developing Countries: A Requiem for Environmental Justice from the Perspective of Bangladesh (Routledge, 2018). Saiful is a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). He is also a lead author of the Asia Pacific Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment Report and the Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Report of the IPBES.

Getting off the Treadmill: Is Sustainable Production and Consumption Possible?

Dr Carol Richards, Senior Lecturer, School of Management, Business School, QUT


The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of Responsible Consumption and Production, state that sustainable production and consumption, requires a systemic approach and cooperation among actors operating in the supply chain, from producer to final consumer. Yet, paradoxically, describing civil society actors as ‘consumers’ might suggest we are a long way from addressing the problems of material excesses associated environmental impacts. The UN is not alone in reducing humans to consumers. The same assumptions are built into everyday life where we ‘consume’ food, health care services, legal services, aged care and education. It is argued that constructing ‘citizens as consumers’ imposes identities that are incompatible with the dematerialisation necessary to attain a sustainable future. Taking a critical political economy approach, and drawing upon the food system as a lens into the production/consumption dichotomy, this paper unpacks the co-existence of the treadmill of production in farming alongside aggressive marketing approaches that compel citizens to consume more. It is argued that the SDG goal to ‘ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’ requires a major cultural shift toward a degrowth ideology, something that is incompatible with dominant social-economic systems at present.


Dr Carol Richards is a food and agricultural sociologist specialising in sustainable food systems, food insecurity, agricultural land acquisition, food governance and new social movements. She has contributed to academic and public debates on issues relating to power and social justice in the global food system.

Her work examines some of the most critical issues of our times, presenting a scholarly and empirically grounded critique of resource acquisition and distribution.

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Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation Law, QUT. #Copyright #Patent #Trademark #plainpacks #Access2meds #SDGs #Climate #IndigenousIP #trade #TPP

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