National Measures on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing: The Case of the Philippines

Aphrodite Smagadi
Researcher, Law Department
European University Institute
Badia Fiesolana, Via dei Roccettini 9
50016 S.D. di Fiesole (Florence), Italy

The objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity stipulated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) was not merely to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources, but to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation. The Convention stresses the sovereignty that signatory states exert over the biological wealth within their jurisdiction and calls on them to enact national legislation that will contribute to fleshing out the provisions on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing. The Philippines was the first country to enact such legislation and has thus accrued a decade of experience in this field. The first and much-analysed access and benefit sharing instrument enacted by the Government of the Philippines, was Executive Order 247 of 1995. However, due to problems experienced during the implementation of the Order, draft guidelines based on the 2001 Implementing Rules to the Wildlife Act have been drafted and are expected to correct the failures of the previous law. This article takes the example of the Philippines to assess the extent to which laws regulating the access and benefit sharing of biological resources can be effective in any country.


Access and benefit sharing, biodiversity, bioprospecting, indigenous peoples, national implementation, Philippines, prior informed consent, mutually agreed terms.             LEAD Journal - ISSN 1746-5893