European User Perspectives on the CBD Multilateral Mechanism for Benefit-sharing from the Use of DSI

In March 2024, a meeting on European User Perspectives on the CBD Multilateral Mechanism for Benefit-sharing from the Use of DSI was held under the Chatham House Rule involving commercial and non-commercial users of DSI and European negotiators on Vilm, Germany.

The report summarizes the key outcomes of the meeting. The contents of this document reflect Meridian Institute’s interpretation of takeaways and areas of convergence among the group participating in the meeting. The Meridian team hopes this summary serves to inform and advance the discussion on the DSI multilateral mechanism (MLM) in the run up to CBD COP16. Readers should not interpret the highlights presented here as representing consensus among this group.

Selected Outcomes

User Willingness to Share Benefits

Industry participants in the meeting indicated a willingness to share monetary benefits from the use of DSI, under the right conditions. Broadly speaking, industry participants emphasized that any system for monetary benefit-sharing should be fair and affordable. Users in this meeting desired a simple, easy-to-understand system that is futureproofed and provides legal certainty, without the need for tracking and tracing the use of DSI.

Future COP Decision

The group acknowledged that a COP decision on DSI at COP16 is the most realistic avenue for further constructing the DSI multilateral system. COP decisions are not legally binding and therefore qualify as soft law yet create strong expectations regarding implementation by Parties. A COP decision could result in Parties establishing legally binding measures at the country level via national legislation.

Transition Period

Given the likelihood the Multilateral Mechanism (MLM) will be established via a non-binding COP decision, the group recognized the need for a transition period to build trust and confidence in the mechanism. The transition period would allow Parties reluctant to implement the MLM immediately time to assess how it is working before deciding how to manage their sovereign resources, whether they would like to join the system, and at what scope (e.g., DSI or DSI plus Genetic Resources).


May 2024