This month's featured article
How to Formulate Domestic Measures for Implementing the Nagoya Protocol
TAKAKURA ShigeoConsulting Fellow, RIETI
When Company A gains benefits through using genetic resources (living organisms) obtained from Country B (Note 1), for example, is it obliged to share them with Country B? This is a typical argument in the "Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)" issue which has been debated for more than 20 years in the field of environment and development.
The ABS issue started with the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992. The convention confirmed that "every country has the authority to set regulations on the access to its own genetic resources" and stipulated that "every government shall take measures to ensure benefit sharing" on the premise that "benefit sharing is based on the agreement between parties." However, because of the grievances by the resource providers (mainly developing countries) that the contents of the measures to be taken by the resource users (mainly developed countries) are not sufficiently clear, there has been a conflict between them. The 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in 2010 in Nagoya adopted the Nagoya Protocol, which specifically defines ABS, and settled this longstanding controversy. There is, however, much to be done before it is implemented.
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