The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity) is a supplementary agreement to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). It was adopted on 29 October 2010 by the Parties to the CBD at the occasion of their 10th Conference in Nagoya, Japan.
The Nagoya Protocol substantiates the CBD’s ABS regulations. It is meant to provide greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources. It sets out core obligations for its contracting Parties to take measures in relation to access to genetic resources, benefit-sharing and compliance.
Providers are to establish clear rules and procedures for prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms. In addition, they will have to establish national focal points that serve as contact points for ABS information and for granting access. User countries are to take measures to secure compliance regarding the conditions and procedures required by the providing party, among others by taking measures to monitor the utilization of the genetic resources.
The ABS system and the Nagoya Protocol also apply to non-commercial academic research. If and how provider states implement the system at national level – that is the requirement of Prior Informed Consent and the negotiation of Mutually Agreed Terms - depends on the political decision of each individual Party. For parties to the CBD that have not (yet) ratified the Nagoya Protocol, the basic obligations of the CBD remain applicable.
The protocol explicitly recognizes the importance of research for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. Parties shall therefore create conditions that promote such research. This includes simplified measures with regard to access for non-commercial research purposes.
When trying to access genetic resources abroad, the first step is to contact the National Focal Point to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing of the providing country. Link
Swiss Forum Biodiversity
3008 Bern | Switzerland
Tel +41 (0)31 306 93 41
Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape
Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco)
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Micro-Organisms & Culture Collections
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture