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The Nagoya Protocol & Access and Benefit Sharing

Mayer Brown
22/04/2021

Organizing the Supply Chain Toward Protection of Biodiversity Globally

 

Recently celebrating the 10th anniversary of its entry into force, the Nagoya Protocol is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992, which seeks to facilitate the protection of biodiversity globally. Parties to the Nagoya Protocol (Parties) have committed to so-called “Access and Benefit Sharing” (ABS) principles regarding the acquisition and utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.

In a nutshell, access to those resources is conditioned upon obtaining the prior informed consent of authorities in the country of origin. Resources should then be used according to “Mutually Agreed Terms”, which shall include benefit sharing mechanisms with the country of origin.

This structure places concrete obligations on any company dealing with nature-based products and, notably, a need to obtain appropriate administrative authorizations and set up contractual arrangements toward benefit sharing. Beyond that, the key driver for compliance is to avoid the reputational costs associated with possible allegations of bio-piracy. Given the complexity of the global supply chains involved, global compliance is a challenge.

In this Blog Post, we discuss the practical implications of the Protocol on international businesses and their supply chains.

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