The entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation to the Convention on Biological Diversity was observed on Wednesday.
Adopted in 2010 and entering into force on 12 October 2014, the Nagoya Protocol aims to create equity between providers and users of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. To achieve this goal, the Protocol provides a clear framework to ensure that access to genetic resources and/or associated traditional knowledge is granted on the basis of prior informed consent and that any benefits derived from the use of these resources or knowledge is shared fairly and equitably with the provider country and its indigenous peoples and local communities, as appropriate.
“The Nagoya Protocol is a ground-breaking treaty and a key element in the global framework for sustainable development. Within two years of its entry into force, the Protocol boasts 87 ratifications from around the globe, encompassing both developing and developed countries as well as the European Union,” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. “I also take this opportunity to congratulate the governments of Swaziland and Bolivia on their recent accession to the Protocol”.
In addition, the Protocol has benefited from global recognition in a number of international forums including the UN General Assembly and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, among others.
“The inclusion of two targets related to genetic diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development further demonstrates that ABS and the Nagoya Protocol are making an important contribution to the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable economic development for all,” said Mr. Dias.
Furthermore, the ABS Clearing-House – the main mechanism established by the Protocol for information-sharing – is now fully operational. Countries, organisations and stakeholders now refer to the ABS Clearing-House to find information on how to access genetic resources or associated traditional knowledge in specific countries and on ABS more generally. The ABS Clearing-House can also be used to monitor the utilisation of genetic resources and the sharing of benefits.
Countries are also advancing in implementing the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol, by adopting legislative, administrative or policy measures and establishing the institutional structures needed to manage ABS at the domestic level.
Indigenous and local communities, as well as stakeholders from the business and scientific communities, are also making headway in developing tools to support the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, such as community protocols, model contractual clauses, and voluntary codes of conduct or guidelines.
While significant progress has been made, further efforts are still needed to make the Protocol achieve its full potential. Going forward, it is expected that membership in the Nagoya Protocol will continue to grow, with more than 60 countries currently in the process of ratifying or planning to ratify.
Parties to the Nagoya Protocol will be taking decisions on the way forward in the implementation of the treaty at their second meeting which will be held on 4-17 December 2016 in Cancun, Mexico.