(Premium) Gist of Science Reporter Magazine: November 2012

Gist of Science Reporter


Nagoya Protocol and CBD

The Nagoya Protocol was adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Nagoya Protocol is the instrument for the implementation of the access and the benefit sharing provisions of the  CBD. In this regard, the CBD provides the substantive, institutional and procedural basis for the Nagoya Protocol. For example, the scope of the Nagoya Protocol is defined by the scope of access and benefit sharing provisions of the CBD. Moreover, institutional arrangements such as dispute settlement mechanisms and secretariat services for the Nagoya Protocol will also be those already established under the CBD.

With the Nagoya Protocol, the fair and equitable sharing of benefits has been reaffirmed as a fundamental component of biodiversity strategies. In addition, a set of rules has been agreed upon to facilitate, promote and ensure its effective implementation. For business, particularly companies using biodiversity as the source and inspiration for innovative ingredients for food and personal care products, the Nagoya Protocol will mean growing calls for measures to consider and put in practice fair and equitable benefit sharing.

The Nagoya Protocol now clearly encompasses research and development to identify new bioactive compounds and natural ingredients for food, supplement and cosmetic products. The Nagoya Protocol also foresees
mechanisms that will facilitate and control the implementation of access and benefit sharing principles along the supply chain. As a result, the Nagoya Protocol reasserts the need for companies to monitor, understand and comply with access and benefit sharing requirements. In addition, by providing a clearer and more level playing field, it also opens up opportunities for companies already working towards ethical practices in their sourcing of biodiversity.

The main provisions of the Nagoya Protocol include:

  • A definition of the objective, use of terms, scope and relationship with other international instruments of the Nagoya protocol.

  • Elaboration on the principles and main requirements on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits and access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

  • Several possible mechanisms for implementation, including a multilateral benefit sharing mechanism and an access and benefit-sharing clearinghouse.

  • Measures to promote compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, as well as with mutually agreed terms.

  • Measures of promote tools and awareness raising, capacity building and transfer of technology activities on access and benefit sharing.

The adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on 29 October 2010 marked a new era. The 193 Parties gathered at the historic meeting in Nagoya had made a commitment to contribute to sustainable development by agreeing to share the benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources on a fair and equitable basis.

The Strategic Plan was also discussed at Nagoya, which is comprised of a shared vision, a mission, strategic goals and 20 ambitious yet achievable targets, collectively known as the Aichi Targets. The Strategic Plan serves as a flexible framework for the establishment of national and regional targets and it promotes the coherent and effective implementation of the three objectives of the Convention of Biological Diversity. The development of national targets, and the updating and revision of national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs), will be key processes in fulfilling the commitments set out in the Strategic Plan. To support countries in these efforts, the Secretariat, together with global and regional partners and with the generous support of the Government of Japan and other donors, will be convening a series of regional and sub regional capacity-building workshops throughout 2011 and 2012.

The Strategic Plan is a transversal text covering all other subjects. If contains social, economic and ecological aspects and enlists the strategic objectives of the Convention. In 2012, the CBD adopted a Strategic Plan with a series of goals. The general mission of the former Strategic Plan was to considerably reduce the speed of biodiversity loss by 2010 (2010 Biodiversity Target). Europe had an even more ambitious goal: to halt the loss of biodiversity within Europe by 2010. In-depth evaluations have shown that neither goal has sufficiently been met. These results will be reflected in the new and revised strategic plan for 2011-2020.