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Access and Benefit-Sharing

Basis for action: "To raise awareness and build the capacity of different stakeholders to implement access and benefit-sharing initiatives and mechanisms"...Strategy for resource mobilization, objective 7.1

"To promote exchange of experiences and good practices in access and benefit sharing"...Strategy for resource mobilization, objective 7.2

Indicator: Number of access and benefit sharing initiatives and mechanisms, consistent with the Convention and, when in effect, with the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising out of Their Utilization, including awareness-raising, that enhance resource mobilization

Northern Africa
Morocco Argan oil; Brief; note

North and Central Americas
Canada 1. Germplasm License Agreement for "Line Ten" between Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (Licensor) and Company Canada Inc. (Licensee)
2. Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) Germplasm and Unregistered Lines between the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Foods, Canada (AAFC) and several public breeding institutions
3. Agreement between Montreal Botanical Garden and Private Companies
4. Final research agreement for a project on Iiyiyiu Anti-Diabetic Plant Medicines; Cree IIyiyiu Anti diabetic Plant medicines
5. Northern Workshop on Access to Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge and Benefit-Sharing
Costa Rica 1. Research Collaborative Agreements and Bioprospecting in Costa Rica
2. Inbio–Merck Research Agreement
3. Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad de Costa Rica (INBio) – Merck & Co.
4. ABS status; Case study; Legal Framework and Public Policy
5. Access to Genetic Resources, Protection of Traditional Knowledge, and Intellectual Property Rights: Lessons Learned from the Costa Rican Experience
6. The Link Between Biodiversity and Sustainable Development: Lessons from INBio’s Bioprospecting Program in Costa Rica
7. Costa Rican International Cooperative Biodiversity Group: Using Insects and Other Arthropods in Biodiversity Prospecting
El Salvador Measures; Case study
Guatemala 1. Croda International – Guatemala
2. Measures; Case study
Honduras
Mexico 1. Novartis-UZACHI Biolead Project; Novartis – UZACHI; Kissling article
2. International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) – Maya; Maya Medicine in the Biological Gaze
3. When Nature Goes Public
4. Between Legality and Legitimacy
Nicaragua Case study
Panama 1. The Panama ICBG
2. Exploitation of plant defenses in Panama
3. Case study
4. Linking bioprospecting with sustainable development and conservation: the Panama case
United States 1. International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) Program
2. ICBG Africa
3. Genetic Resources Recognition Fund; UC Davis Genetic Resources Recognition Fund
4. Yellowstone National Park; Yellowstone National Park and the Diversa Corporation; Benefit-Sharing as a Goal of the International Regime: Lessons Learned from Genetic Resources Research at Yellowstone National Park
5. National Cancer Institute: Letter of Collection Agreement
6. The National Park Experience

Status and trends
Agreements on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing have been observed across all the regions, and also appear to concentrate in those countries that have high biodiversity richness. In a sample of 44 countries with agreements on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, 65 percent of them are located in the top 40 countries (about one fifth of CBD membership) of the GEF benefits index for biodiversity. Latin America has seen higher frequency of agreements on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing than other regions, but the Caribbean is not well known for such contracts. In Africa, Northern Africa is less known to have agreements on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing than other African sub-regions. In Asia, Western Asia has not seen as many agreements as other Asian sub-regions. Not many agreements on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing have been observed in the European continent, particularly Southern Europe.

Counting
Monetary benefits of access to genetic resources and benefit sharing agreements/contracts can be multiple. Certain benefits may be available when such agreements are reached, for instance, access fees/fee per sample collected or otherwise acquired, up-front payments, milestone payments, special fees to be paid to trust funds supporting conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, research funding, salaries and preferential terms where mutually agreed. Most agreements on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing offer financial payments in the range between a few ten thousands dollars and near one million dollars. The total upfront financial payment so far from all known contracts on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing may not exceed US$50 million, and only a portion of this sum has been returned to biodiversity conservation.

Other financial benefits can be difficult to track and estimate, such as payment of royalties, licence fees in case of commercialization, joint ventures, joint ownership of relevant intellectual property rights. To document cash flows from benefit sharing agreements over a longer period of time can be very costly. However, large deals resulting from benefit sharing agreements often generate a reasonable level of publicity, and news monitors continue to be a good source of information associated with various benefit sharing agreements. Whenever financial benefits are sizable, income statements and balance sheets of involved organizations and businesses should also provide good indication of returns from benefit sharing agreements.

Ideas of mobilization
  • National strategies and policies for industries that use genetic resources as input are encouraged and supported with favorable fiscal terms
  • Access to genetic resources and benefit sharing are integrated into national industrial strategies and policies
  • Favorable tax and other measures are introduced for those revenues resulting from access to genetic resources and benefit sharing and that are returned to conservation and sustainable use projects and activities
  • Capacity building and technical cooperation are promoted between countries that have developed experiences in access and benefit sharing agreements and those that lack such experience
  • Better flow of information on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing including national policy frameworks will facilitate the replication of best practices on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme