Compliance with the Protocol

Compliance procedures are a common feature of many multilateral environmental agreements. In general terms, they are intended to support compliance with a treaty and facilitate or assist the Parties to the treaty to implement their obligations. At the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol, the Parties adopted compliance procedures and mechanisms and established a Compliance Committee (decision NP-1/4).

Article 30 of the Nagoya Protocol provides that the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol (COP-MOP) shall consider and approve cooperative procedures and institutional mechanisms to promote compliance with the provisions of the Protocol and to address cases of non-compliance.

Developments since entry into force of the Protocol

COP-MOP 3 (November 2018)

At its third meeting, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol (COP-MOP) considered the report of the Compliance Committee under the Nagoya Protocol, including findings and recommendations of the Compliance Committee on general issues of compliance as a contribution to the assessment and review of the Nagoya Protocol. In decision NP-3/2, COP-MOP welcomed the contribution of the Compliance Committee to the first assessment and review in the form of information and findings on general issues of compliance and recommendations to assist in addressing challenges to the implementation of the Protocol. COP-MOP also welcomed the progress made by Parties in the implementation of the Protocol and urged Parties that have not yet done so to establish ABS legislative, administrative and policy measures, and institutional arrangements.

COP-MOP 3 Decisions and Relevant Documents

  • Report of the Compliance Committee under the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization on the work of its second meeting - CBD/NP/MOP/3/2

Second meeting of the Compliance Committee (May 2018)

The second meeting of the Compliance Committee under the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing took place from 24 to 26 April 2018 at the Secretariat of the CBD in Montreal, Canada. The Committee reviewed outcomes of the second meeting of the Parties to the Protocol as they relate to compliance. This included a review of decisions that took into account the recommendations of the Committee as well as other relevant decisions taken by the second meeting of the Parties. The Committee noted that its rules of procedure were approved by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties in decision NP-2/3 with only minimal changes. The Committee also provided inputs as a contribution to the first assessment and review of the Protocol in the form of information and findings on general issues of compliance and recommendations to assist in addressing challenges to the implementation of the Protocol. The findings and recommendations will be made available for consideration by SBI-2 and the report of the Committee will be submitted to the third meeting of the Parties to the Protocol.

COP-MOP 2 (December 2016)

At its second meeting, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol (COP-MOP) considered the report of the first meeting of the Compliance Committee, including the draft rules of procedure for the meetings of the Committee. Amongst other things, the COP-MOP approved the rules of the procedures in decision NP-2/3. The decision also requested the Compliance Committee to reassess, at a future meeting, the need for and modalities of support to address challenges related to compliance with the provisions of the Protocol and to provide inputs to the first assessment and review of the Protocol in the form of information and findings on general issues of compliance and recommendations to assist in addressing challenges related to the implementation of the Protocol.

COP-MOP 2 Decisions and Relevant Documents

  • Report of the Compliance Committee under the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization on the work of its first meeting - UNEP/CBD/NP/COP-MOP/2/4
  • Cooperative procedures and institutional mechanisms to promote compliance with the Nagoya Protocol and to address cases of non-compliance: Note by the Executive Secretary - UNEP/CBD/NP/COP-MOP/1/7

First meeting of the Compliance Committee (April 2016)
The Compliance Committee held its first meeting from 6 to 8 April 2016. The Committee developed draft rules of procedure and discussed the need for and modalities of support to address challenges related to compliance with the provisions of the Protocol. The Committee also discussed future work it may undertake, particularly in relation to monitoring and reporting, the ABS Clearing-House and assessment and review.

COP-12 and COP-MOP 1 (October 2014)
The report of the third meeting of ICNP was submitted to the twelfth meeting of the Parties to the Convention (COP-12), which decided to establish a contact group to continue negotiations of the compliance procedures and mechanisms. The outcomes of the contact group were forwarded to the first meeting of the COP-MOP for further consideration and finalization.

At its first meeting, the COP-MOP took up the draft text on compliance following the work of the contact group at COP-12 (UNEP/CBD/NP/COP-MOP/1/7) and adopted decision NP-1/4. In the decision, the COP-MOP adopted the compliance procedures and mechanisms and established the Compliance Committee to promote compliance with the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol and to address cases of non-compliance. The decision also requested the Compliance Committee to develop the rules of procedure for its meetings and to identify and consider the need for and modalities of support to address challenges related to compliance with the provisions of the Protocol.

Developments prior to the entry into force of the Protocol

Prior to the entry into force of the Protocol, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol (ICNP) was established by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (decision X/1) to undertake the preparations for the first meeting of the Parties to the Protocol.

ICNP-3 (February 2014)

At its third meeting, the ICNP continued discussions of the draft procedures and mechanisms and agreed, in recommendation 3/6, to forward a revised text to the first meeting of the COP-MOP for its consideration and approval.

ICNP-3 Recommendations

ICNP-2 (July 2012)

At its second meeting,the ICNP considered the report of the expert meeting and its annex (UNEP/CBD/ICNP/2/12) and adopted recommendation 2/7 which included draft "Cooperative Procedures and Institutional Mechanisms to Promote Compliance with the Protocol and to Address Cases of Non-Compliance". In the same recommendation, the ICNP also decided that this draft would serve as the basis for future consideration of this issue. It also recommended a draft decision for adoption by the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-11).

In decision XI/1 F, COP-11 decided to forward the draft procedures and mechanisms as contained in annex IV of the decision to the third meeting of the ICNP, to enable the first meeting of the Parties to the Protocol to consider and approve them.

ICNP-2 Recommendations

Expert meeting (March 2012)

An expert meeting was held in March 2012 to consider the draft elements and options for compliance procedures and mechanisms (UNEP/CBD/ABS/EM-COMP/1/2) developed by the Executive Secretary in light of the views sent by Parties and stakeholders. The report of the meeting included, in an annex, draft elements and options for cooperative procedures and mechanisms to promote compliance with the Protocol.

ICNP-1 (June 2011)

At its first meeting, the ICNP considered two documents prepared by the Executive Secretary (UNEP/CBD/ICNP/1/6/rev.1 and UNEP/CBD/ICNP/1/INF/1) on cooperative procedures and institutional mechanisms for compliance based on experience gained in other multilateral environmental agreements. On this basis, the ICNP adopted recommendation 1/4 in which it requested the Executive Secretary to convene an expert meeting.

ICNP-1 Recommendations

COP-MOP Decisions

  • Decision NP-3/2 on compliance with the Protocol
  • Decision NP-2/3 on the report of the Compliance Committee
  • Decision NP-1/4 on Cooperative procedures and institutional mechanisms to promote compliance with the Nagoya Protocol and to address cases of non-compliance

COP-MOP Documents

COP-MOP 3

  • Report of the Compliance Committee under the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization on the work of its second meeting - CBD/NP/MOP/3/2

COP-MOP 2

  • Report of the Compliance Committee under the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization on the work of its first meeting - UNEP/CBD/NP/COP-MOP/2/4
  • Cooperative procedures and institutional mechanisms to promote compliance with the Nagoya Protocol and to address cases of non-compliance: Note by the Executive Secretary - UNEP/CBD/NP/COP-MOP/1/7

Compliance Committee Documents

ICNP Recommendations

The Compliance Committee

The Compliance Committee is composed of 15 members nominated by Parties and elected by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol (COP-MOP) on the basis of three members from each of the five regional groups of the United Nations. In addition, two representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities are elected by the COP-MOP to serve as observers.

In accordance with the cooperative procedures and institutional mechanisms (annex to decision NP-1/4), the Committee can receive submissions relating to issues of compliance and non-compliance with the provisions of the Protocol from:

(a) Any Party with respect to itself
(b) Any Party with respect to another Party
(c) The COP-MOP

The Committee may also examine a situation where a Party fails to submit its national report under Article 29 of the Protocol or where information indicates that a Party is faced with difficulties complying with its obligations under the Protocol as well as systemic issues of general non-compliance. Both the Committee and the COP-MOP may take measures to promote compliance and address cases of non-compliance.

The rules of procedure for the meetings of the Compliance Committee under the Nagoya Protocol were adopted by COP-MOP 2, in the annex to decision NP-2/3.


First meeting of the Compliance Committee


Second meeting of the Compliance Committee


Third meeting of the Compliance Committee

Latest notifications

  • 2018-10-10 - Invitation to prepare for elections to replace outgoing members of the Compliance Committees under the Protocols at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol (COP-MOP 9) and the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol (COP-MOP 3) (2018-082)
  • 2016-10-27 - Invitation to prepare for elections to replace outgoing members of the Compliance Committees