Equitable and fair benefit sharing: A socio-legal imperative for a social safeguard misnomer
Author(s): Makweti Sishekanu
Abstract: Environmental and social safeguards are inherently socio-legal matters. But the deficiency of legal expertise in this area has left environmental and social safeguards issues and processes to the mercy of social science theory. Consequently, social safeguards like benefit sharing have become a social misnomer based on equity and fairness as social science theories rather than legal principles. As such, benefit sharing as a social safeguard grapples to fulfill its duo intended purpose; i.e. to generally contribute to environmental sustainability and specifically, to improve the socioeconomic well-being of the prospective beneficiaries. Therefore, this paper builds on international principles of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) to proffer a socio-legal approach to benefit sharing at program and project level in Zambia.