Existing case studies on access and benefit-sharing are a valuable source of information to provide a better understanding of access and benefit-sharing in practice.
Already under various decisions of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties, Governments, international agencies, research institutions, representatives of indigenous and local communities and non-governmental organizations were invited to submit case studies to the Executive Secretary on different thematic areas and cross-cutting issues, such as access to and sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources (decision III/15, paragraph 2(a))
. A synthesis of the findings of case studies received in time for the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties is contained in document UNEP/CBD/COP/4/Inf.7
At its sixth meeting, in decision VI/24
on Access and Benefit-sharing as related to genetic resources, in paragraph 6 of section D, the Conference of the Parties requested Parties and relevant organizations to make available to the Executive Secretary: …(b) case studies on the implementation of access and benefit-sharing arrangements. The information was compiled and made available through the Convention's Clearing House Mechanism.
Moreover, at the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the Executive Secretary was requested to gather information and to carry out further analysis on a number of issues, including “access and benefit-sharing arrangements in specific sectors” and “existing practices and trends with regard to commercial and other utilization of genetic resources and the generation of benefits” (Decision VII/19)
. In order to respond to these requests by the Conference of the Parties, a first study examining the commercial use of biodiversity, in particular the demand for genetic resources and market trends, was commissioned by the Secretariat and made available as an information document at the fourth meeting of the Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing in December 2005. A second study was commissioned, and made available at the sixth meeting of the Working Group on ABS, to examine access and benefit-sharing arrangements in different sectors based on recent literature, the analysis of ABS contracts and agreements, interviews with representatives from industry, government, NGOs, international agencies, and research institutions. In addition, seven case studies were selected for detailed analysis. Both reports and related case studies have been combined in CBD Technical Series #38: Access and Benefit-sharing in Practice: Trends in Partnerships across Sectors