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CBD targets 100-mark ratification for Nagoya Protocol in 2016

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is optimistic that the Nagoya Protocol will reach a milestone 100 ratifications this year. So far, 70 nations have become Parties to the Protocol.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Secretary General, Convention on Biological Diversity
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Secretary General, Convention on Biological Diversity

Ratification to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of
Benefits Arising from their Utilisation hit 70 on 29 December 2015 following accession by Slovakia.

Nigeria signed the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing on February 1, 2012, but she is yet to ratify the treaty. Nigeria and 91 other nations are mere signatories to the Protocol. Several other nations have neither signed nor ratified the treaty.

Besides Slovakia, countries like Cambodia, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mauritania, Pakistan, Philippines and the Republic of the Congo ratified the Nagoya Protocol in 2015.

Parties to the Protocol have either ratified, acceded to, approved or accepted the Convention. The implication is that the treaty becomes legally binding on the State (or the regional economic integration organisation).

States which have not signed a treaty during the time when it is open for signature can only accede to it. Slovakia, for example, acceded to the Protocol.

“Reaching 70 Parties to the Nagoya Protocol is certainly a milestone. However, we need to ensure that this
momentum is maintained throughout the year in order for us to achieve our goal of reaching 100 ratifications by the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol (COP-MOP 2), being held in December 2016,” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. “For this purpose, I count on the support of CBD Parties and our partners to promote ratification and I encourage countries yet to do so, to ratify the Protocol at their earliest convenience.”

In December 2015, the UN General Assembly echoed these views by inviting CBD Parties to ratify the Nagoya Protocol in resolution 70/472.

Ratifying the Protocol prior to COP-MOP 2 will enable countries to participate in decision-making at this
meeting and in further advancing implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. The impact of the Protocol in
creating greater transparency and legal certainty for providers and users of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge will increase as more countries join the Protocol and undertake to implement its obligations.

In 2016, with a view to supporting implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, the International Development
Law Organisation and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity will hold capacity building
courses aimed at equipping national-policy-makers and legislators to develop legal frameworks on Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS). These courses will introduce participants to the core requirements of the Nagoya Protocol, key considerations for the design and implementation of ABS frameworks, and the different approaches to ABS based on country experiences and best practices.

The Nagoya Protocol is critical for the sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity. Allowing Parties to
fully benefit from their genetic resources generates new opportunities and incentives to conserve and
sustainably use biodiversity. The fair and equitable sharing of benefits from genetic resources is one of the
three main objectives of the Convention, with the other two being the conservation of biodiversity and the
sustainable use of its components.

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in
December 1993, the CBD is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.

With 196 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community.

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