Implementing ‘Mutually Supportive’ Access and Benefit Sharing Mechanisms Under the Plant Treaty, Convention on Biological Diversity, and Nagoya Protocol

 

Michael Halewood, Elsa Andrieux, Léontine Crisson, Jean Rwihaniza Gapusi, John Wasswa Mulumba, Edmond Kouablan Koffi, Tashi Yangzome Dorji, Madan Raj Bhatta and Didier Balma

Michael Halewood (Corresponding Author)

Policy Research Unit,
Bioversity International,
(Via dei Tre Denari, 472/a,
00057 Maccarese, Rome, Italy)
m.halewood@cgiar.org

 

 

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) commit their member states to implement very different access and benefit-sharing systems: one system, under the ITPGRFA, is designed to encourage international pooling and sharing of genetic diversity; the other system, under the CBD, is designed to maximise each country’s sovereign control over their genetic resources. Progress in domestic implementation of both systems has been relatively slow. One factor contributing to delays is that policy makers in many countries are uncertain about how to address the interface between these two access and benefit-sharing systems. Based on research and policy development experiences in several countries, the authors first identify the issues national policy-makers need to address, and the steps they need to follow, to implement the multilateral system of access and benefit sharing under the ITPGRFA. Second, the authors analyse the points of intersection, at the national level, between the ITPGRFA’s multilateral system and access and benefit-sharing, and mechanisms developed (or being developed) pursuant to the Convention on Biological Diversity and its recently adopted Nagoya Protocol. Third, the authors analyse factors that are contributing to the lack of coordination, in many countries, between the national public environment and agriculture agencies that have mandates to lead national implementation of these international agreements.

 

Access and benefit sharing, genetic resources, international law, multilateral system, national implementation.

 

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