Genetic resources from plants, animals, fungi and other microorganisms are valuable for society, individuals and companies. This is the reason why there is need for regulation of access to utilising genetic resources.
The Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) is the most comprehensive tool to ensure, that biodiversity is conserved and utilised in a sustainable way. The Nagoya Protocol was adopted in 2010 as a supplementary agreement under the CBD in order to create more legally binding provisions to regulate access to genetic resources and benefit sharing.
Many of the CBD-ratifying countries have also adopted the Nagoya Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol concerns the third objective of the CBD, which is the aim of fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from utilisation of genetic resources.
The CBD as well as the Nagoya Protocol are based on the principle of national sovereignty to genetic resources, and each party to the Nagoya Protocol can decide to regulate genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.
The Nagoya Protocol therefore require that access must be based on a prior informed consent (PIC) and mutual agreed terms (MAT) between user and supplier of the genetic resources.
The ABS regulations in the EU
EU has regulated user compliance measures covering the Nagoya Protocol, and the EU ABS regulations entered into force in 2014 and 2015. ABS stands for Access and Benefit Sharing.
The principle behind ABS is to ensure that the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources are shared fair and equitable.
Three elements of the Nagoya Protocol
Glossary and definitions
Users and utilisation of genetic resources
Links to further information about Nagoya and the ABS
Annex to the implementing regulation (English)
EU ABS guidance document (English)