The genetic resources that are commonly shared by many countries are a core issue in the negotiation of the Global Multilateral Benefit-Sharing Mechanism (GMBSM). Because China is a country that has many neighboring countries, understanding the partitioning and spatial patterns is a key issue in China’s participation in the GMBSM negotiation. We analyze the geographical distribution of the plants which are shared among China and its neighboring countries and regions. The results indicate that medicinal plants found in China are commonly shared with Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, and South Asia. Among them, China shares the most medicinal plants (220 species) with Vietnam, followed by Japan (144 species) and Myanmar (75 species), and lastly India (42 species). This study shows that: (1) Discussing the establishment of a regional multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism is significant to China; (2) China should pay more attention to bilateral cooperation with neighboring countries and regions found in Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, and South Asia, as these regions share the most medicinal plants, and (3) Due to the transboundary situation clause in the Protocol is hard to play its role in a short time, additional support is needed in the negotiation of GMBSM in order to allow more time for China’s domestic legislation and sub-regional negotiation.
Received: 24 December 2016
Published: 31 August 2017