The ABS Mechanism

The Nagoya Protocol

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation (Nagoya Protocol) is an international treaty adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan on 29 October 2010. It is entered into by over 125 countries around the world and aims to implement one of the CBD’s central objectives: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the utilisation of genetic resources. The Nagoya Protocol sets out core obligations for its contracting Parties to take measures in relation to access to genetic resources, benefit-sharing and compliance (the “ABC” of the Nagoya Protocol).

Access and benefit-sharing is based on prior informed consent (PIC) being granted by a provider to a user and negotiations between both parties to develop mutually agreed terms (MAT) to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of genetic resources and associated benefits. This agreement includes the sharing of benefits arising from the use of a resource with the provider as a prerequisite for access to the genetic resource and its use. On the other side, countries, when acting as providers of genetic resources, should provide fair and non-arbitrary rules and procedures for access to their genetic resources. Access to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources that is held by indigenous peoples and local communities may also be subject to their PIC and MAT or approval and involvement. Indigenous peoples and local communities’ customary laws, community protocols and procedures may also have to be taken into consideration.

By enhancing legal certainty and promoting benefit-sharing, the Nagoya Protocol encourages the advancement of research on genetic resources which could lead to new discoveries for the benefit of all. The Nagoya Protocol also creates incentives to conserve and sustainably use genetic resources, and thereby enhances the contribution of biodiversity to development and human well-being.


ABS - Simply Explained

A 5 minute animated video clip to explain ABS and the Nagoya Protocol. It is meant to be screened as a curtain raiser at meetings, conferences and workshops - for example national ABS kick off’s - to a larger audiences. Of course the video can also be forwarded to colleagues that are interested in  ABS or should get to know about it. Several languages are available.

ABS Monitoring System

A 6 minute animated video clip explaining the ABS Monitoring System as provided for by the Nagoya Protocol.