by Catherine Aubertin & Jean-Louis Pham
In 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity established the principle of Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization (ABS), with the objective of promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and putting an end to the uncompensated exploitation of natural resources and knowledge in Global-South Countries.
Specified by the Nagoya Protocol in 2010, ABS concerns research and development activities on genetic resources (in the broadest sense) and the associated traditional knowledge. It is based on a bipartite agreement between the provider and the user of the genetic resource and the associated traditional knowledge. This mode of operation has shown its limits in practice, but potential evolutions are already being discussed (DSI, High Seas...).
Committed to the application of the Nagoya protocol, partners from the North and South are exchanging experiences. Taking into account the observed low financial returns and the scientific advances, they make proposals for environmental justice in a multilateral framework. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) is a particular instrument based on a multilateral approach of sharing and compatible with the ABS approach of the CBD, showing that this kind of functioning is possible.
The side event proposes to take stock of the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol and to discuss its perspectives for evolution including a multilateral mechanism.