Access or Utilisation – What Triggers User Obligations? A Comment on the Draft Proposal of the European Commission on the Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing
Natural Justice and Berne Declaration, June 2013

This new opinion piece criticizes the European Commission’s draft EC Regulation 2012/0278 (COD) to implement the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing in the EU. It is noted that in the draft regulation, user obligations would only apply to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge that have been physically accessed in the country of origin after the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol. This implementation would be in sharp contrast to the large majority of existing ABS laws in provider countries. It is argued that, by excluding a significant category of genetic resources from the scope of the regulation, the draft fails to implement the main objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. In addition it will lead to greater legal uncertainty for users, allow for unfair competitive practices and, in the long run, lead provider countries to implement more burdensome access procedures to genetic resources.

It is recalled that the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament will vote on the draft regulation on 4 July, with a final draft expected to be tabled in the European Parliament in October 2013. Download the publication [pdf] … Read the press release …