The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) entered into force on 12 October 2014 and is a binding international treaty that aims at the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources or traditional knowledge associated with these.
A „genetic resource“ is any material of plant, animal, microbial or other non-human origin that contains functional units of heredity, or it is a derivative of a genetic resource (e.g. enzymes, proteins, metabolites) with actual or potential value. The „utilisation“ of genetic resources or traditional knowledge associated with these includes non-commercial research and development.
The implementation of the Nagoya Protocol is regulated by EU Regulation No. 511/2014. Researchers who use genetic resources or associated traditional knowledge in the context of their research are obliged to comply with the Nagoya Protocol. In Germany, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) is the responsible national authority for enforcement of the Nagoya Protocol. Non-compliance with the Nagoya Protocol can have legal consequences.
For the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol the DFG published Guidelines on ABS, Explanations on Terminology of the Nagoya Protocol (Erläuterungen zu Begrifflichkeiten aus dem Nagoya-Protokoll) as well as Explanations on how to deal with the legal requirements of the Nagoya Protocol and Regulation (EU) No. 511/2014 (Erläuterungen zum Umgang mit den rechtlichen Vorgaben des Nagoya-Protokolls und der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 511/2014). The latter two documents are available in German only.
Extensive and practical explanations can be found on the webpages of the German Nagoya Protocol HuB. In particular, we recommend the very helpful infographic for researchers. The GNP HuB also maintains its own YouTube channel with short videos.
Further information on the Nagoya Protocol can be found on the webpages of the European Commission.
The ABS Clearing House (ABSCH) is maintained by the Convention on Biological Biodiversity and is the official platform for the exchange of information on access and benefit sharing. Here you will find all country-specific information and the national contact persons.
Dr. Ursula Higgins
Head - Research Support Office
Tel. 0921 - 55 7783