Good day and hope everyone is well. May I seek your advice regarding the scope of the Nagoya Protocol? Do the provisions of the Protocol cover access to genetic resources, including those intended solely for research/academic purposes? Or is the scope limited to research with the clear intent of commercializing/developing a product as a final/resulting step? I also would like to be clarified on the extent of activities which are covered in the Protocol as regards “access” to genetic resources.
Your feedback/comments on this will be highly appreciated. Thank you so much!
Thank you for your query. The Nagoya Protocol applies to the genetic resources covered under art. 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity and also to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources and to the benefits arising from their utilization. Not all access to genetic resources are covered under the Protocol, but only access for the utilization of the genetic resources (utilization means “to conduct research and development on the genetic and/or biochemical composition of genetic resources, including through the application of biotechnology”). Access to genetic resources as commodities are excluded from the Protocol. The Protocol applies to any kind of research, for commercial or non-commercial purposes if there is utilization of the genetic resource as already indicated before.
The scope of the Protocol is very broad, but you have to take into account that countries have sovereign rights over their genetic resources and access to their genetic resources is subject to national legislation. Therefore, it is very important to see exactly the scope of the access legislation in each country. There are some countries that have exempted national researchers from the permit system (like India). There are countries that only regulates access to certain genetic resources or genetic resources located in certain areas (National Parks).
We hope the previous paragraphs clarify a bit better the scope of the Nagoya Protocol, but we are to provide you further explanations as needed.
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