Geoff Burton is a Senior Fellow of the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies. He provides expert policy and practical advice to various countries on domestic and international on access and benefit-sharing (ABS). He is a contributing author to Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and the Law – Earthscan, August 2009 and The 2010 Nagoya Protocol Access and Benefit-sharing in Perspective – Martinus Nijhoff, 2013. He is also the author of numerous papers and presentations on ABS and Traditional Knowledge, delivering to meetings and symposia in 20013 in Japan, China, USA, Denmark, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Samoa, Timor Leste and Myanmar. In recent years he has been delivering development assistance through the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, the South Pacific Environment Program and the ABS Capacity Building Initiative. As an UNU-IAS Fellow, Mr. Burton also champions the cause of taxonomy, intellectual property reform and biodiversity conservation.
Mr. Burton was formerly Australia’s Competent National Authority on Access and Benefit-sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Australia’s lead negotiator on ABS issues from 1999 to 2006. In 2005, he co-chaired the first round of negotiations within the CBD on the development of an international regime on genetic resources. Within Australia, he developed national ABS policy and ABS law and oversaw its implementation.
Mr. Burton was also policy advisor to the Australian Prime Minister’s Science Engineering and Innovation Council Reference Group on Biodiscovery that led to the establishment of the Atlas of Living Australia. In 2008, he conducted a feasibility study on the establishment of a tropical biodiversity and evolution centre for the government of Australia’s Northern Territory and Charles Darwin University. In 2012 he represented the Australian Government at the OECD meeting on Marine Biotechnology.