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COP 3 Decision III/15
Retired sections: paragraphs 1, 2 and 7.

Access to genetic resources

The Conference of the Parties,

Recognizing the importance of the implementation of Article 15 with all of its provisions,

Noting that the implementation of Article 15 is closely linked to that of other Articles, such as 8 (j), 11, 16.2, 16.5, 17.2, 19.1 and 19.2;

Taking note of the importance of national and regional efforts, as set out in its decision II/11,

Recalling the support expressed in decision II/15 for the harmonization of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture with the Convention on Biological Diversity, and noting the linkages of Article 15 with the further development and implementation of the work by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on the Global System,

Recognizing that there is a variety of approaches to managing access to genetic resources based on their diversity and other considerations,

Recalling decision II/18, that placed the distribution of the benefits from technology, including biotechnology, on the agenda of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties,

1. Urges Governments, regional economic integration organizations and other international, regional and national competent organizations to send to the Secretariat, five months before the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, information on:

    (a) National, regional, and sectoral legislative, administrative and policy measures and guidelines for activities covered by Article 15, and in particular, on access and benefit-sharing, both adopted and under development, including information on their implementation;
    (b) National participatory processes for the activities covered by Article 15, and in particular, ways by which access and benefit-sharing measures and guidelines, including related institutional arrangements, are developed and implemented;
    (c) As appropriate, research programmes on genetic resources;

2. Requests the Executive Secretary, in time for the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties:

    (a) To prepare a note based on information provided in response to paragraph 1, further summarizing legislative, administrative and policy measures, including guidelines and regional and sectoral measures for the activities covered by Article 15, and in particular on access and benefit-sharing, both under development and adopted. The note should include a summary of the scope of the genetic resources included and being considered; any national and regional interpretations of key terms; the elements included in access measures and consideration of the process by which such measures are prepared and implemented, including interim measures; and relevant national experiences in the development and implementation of such measures, including, as available, case studies;
    (b) To disseminate this information, including through the clearing-house mechanism;

3. Urges Governments, regional economic integration organizations, the interim financial mechanism, and competent international, regional and national organizations to support and implement human and institutional capacity-building programmes for Governments, non-governmental organizations and local and indigenous communities, as appropriate, to promote the successful development and implementation of legislative, administrative and policy measures and guidelines on access, including scientific, technical, business, legal and management skills and capacities;

4. Invites Governments, regional economic integration organizations and competent international, regional and national organizations to conduct analyses of ongoing experiences of legislative, administrative and policy measures and guidelines on access, including regional efforts and initiatives, and to disseminate these widely to assist Parties and stakeholders involved in developing and implementing measures and guidelines on access;

5. Encourages Governments and regional economic integration organizations to explore and develop, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, guidelines and practices to ensure mutual benefits to providers and users of access measures and to implement them effectively at the national, regional or international level, as appropriate;

6. Encourages Governments and regional economic integration organizations to identify and communicate to the Secretariat competent national authorities responsible for granting access to genetic resources and/or competent national authorities to provide information on the granting of access to genetic resources;

7. Urges Governments and regional economic integration organizations to bring to a rapid conclusion the negotiation for the adaptation of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular, providing solutions to access to ex situ collections not acquired in accordance with the Convention;

8. Requests the Executive Secretary to cooperate closely with the World Trade Organization through the Committee on Trade and Environment to explore the extent to which there may be linkages between Article 15 and relevant articles of the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights;

9. Urges the Executive Secretary to coordinate closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and other relevant organizations working on access to genetic resources to ensure complementary efforts.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme