Nagoya Protocol requires legal certainty, ICC says

  • 2 November 2010

ICC is calling on governments to ensure that implementation of a newly adopted, international agreement on access and benefit sharing, supports the investment and innovation necessary for the creation of benefits from genetic resources.

The Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization was adopted during the early hours of 30 October, at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Nagoya, Japan. ICC coordinated the participation of a wide range of business sectors in the negotiations.

“ICC was a long-term partner in the negotiation process towards the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol. If implemented appropriately, it can provide a solid framework for CBD parties and businesses to act as partners toward achieving an access and benefit-sharing system that contributes to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity,” said Anke van den Hurk, Chair of the ICC Task Force on Convention on Biological Diversity.

“The protocol leaves several critical issues open to interpretation and national implementation will be crucial to determine its impact. When taking measures in their countries to implement the Nagoya Protocol, we hope that governments will provide the legal certainty that businesses need to invest in research and development in genetic resources. This is essential for any potential benefits from genetic resources to be realized.”

With the aim of conserving biological diversity, and sustaining its use, the protocol’s objectives include the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the utilization of genetic resources.

“Governments need to build up practical, workable and transparent national systems and infrastructure that will support the creation of value and benefits from genetic resources, and avoid measures that will hinder innovation and trade. This in turn will help provide incentives for biodiversity conservation, one of the underlying aims of the protocol,” said Daphne Yong-d’Herve, ICC Senior Policy Manager.

“Businesses are willing to work with governments to develop national frameworks and systems that create win-win situations beneficial to all parties,” she added.

ICC has been contributing on behalf of business to the discussions on access and benefit sharing for several years and will continue to participate in future discussions on the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.