Nations Begin Signing Protocol On Biodiversity Access And Benefit-Sharing 07/02/2011 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 3 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Four developing countries have signed a recently completed international agreement on access to genetic resources and the fair retribution of benefits accrued from those resources. The protocol opened for signature in New York last week and efforts are underway to set up an information clearinghouse. The Nagoya Protocol [pdf] on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), adopted on 29 October 2010, must be ratified by 50 parties and would enter into force 90 days after the fiftieth ratification, according to the CBD. On 2 February, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an expedite entry into force of the protocol during the ceremony which opened the protocol for signature. Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, and Yemen signed the protocol which will remain open for signature until 1 February 2012 at the UN headquarters in New York, according to a CBD press release [pdf]. Japan reportedly plans to sign within a year [pdf]. The eleventh meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP), the convention’s governing body meeting every two years, will be held in India from 8-19 October 2012 and is the target for the first meeting of the Parties to the Protocol. To reach this target, the protocol should enter into force no later than 8 October 2012 said the release. According to the CBD, benefits are not just monetary benefits. “Benefits derived from genetic resources,” it said, “may include the sharing of the results of research and development carried out on genetic resources, the transfer of technologies that make use of those resources, participation in biotechnological research activities, or monetary benefits arising from the commercialization of products based on genetic resources, such as pharmaceuticals.” Clearing House Modalities to be Discussed Article 14 of the protocol established an Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House which will make available information provided by parties on access and benefit-sharing and in particular information on the implementation of the protocol. Information should include policy measures on access and benefit sharing, information on the national competent authorities, evidence of the decision to grant prior informed consent and establishment of mutually agreed terms, and relevant (if available and as appropriate) competent authorities of indigenous and local communities. An expert meeting on the modalities of operation of the Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House will take place on 11-14 April in Montreal, according to a CBD notification [pdf]. The April meeting, financed by the European Union, will focus on practical considerations to provide input to the first meeting of the Open-ended Ad-hoc Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit sharing on 6-June 2011. The April meeting will also serve to assist countries with the ratification and implementation of the protocol, said the notification. The group of experts will be composed of eight experts per region, according to the release, as well as 10 observers coming from institutions such as international organisations, industry, research institutions, botanical gardens and other ex situ collection holders, non-governmental organisations, and indigenous and local communities. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Nations Begin Signing Protocol On Biodiversity Access And Benefit-Sharing" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.