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Access and Benefit-Sharing

"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;" --- Decision X/3, paragraph 7(15)

2008 Strategy for Resource Mobilization
Strategic objective 7.1 - "To raise awareness and build the capacity of different stakeholders to implement access and benefit-sharing initiatives and mechanisms"

Strategic objective 7.2 - "To promote exchange of experiences and good practices in access and benefit sharing"

Eastern Africa
Burundi (2014) Droit sur la bioprospection : Certains pays ont récemment adopté des lois exigeant que les scientifiques et les sociétés paient le permis de « bioprospection » (collecte de plantes indigènes et leur analyse à des fins pharmaceutiques éventuelles) et paient également des redevances sur les ventes de tout produit commercial qui en résulterait. Les droits sur la bioprospection peuvent être utilisés pour contribuer au financement des coûts de gestion des aires protégées.
(2006) three cases. 1. Cinematographic exploitation of the Nile crocodile called “Gustave” with a French filming association for commercialisation on the national and international video market. Agreed benefits (40 % of the revenues accrued from the video sales) to the national partner and the Government of Burundi. 2. The cichlid fishes (200 different endemic species) are collected by paid local divers from Lake Tanganyika and later on prepared for the export to Europe and America, where they are sold as ornamental fish for aquariums and more recently as ecological, taxonomic as well as biotechnological research objects in Europe. 3. The local community of the Batwa, who live in and around the Kibira National Park, know the hiding-places of Kibira snakes and how to capture them alive without the highly venomous animals harming them. They use the snakes for traditional medicine and their skins for ornamental purposes. 10% of the generated income through the sales to zoos and museums as well as to laboratories and individuals abroad by a local environmental and herpetological association (AHEB) is shared with the Batwa.
(2009) Measures. Burundi benefits from scientific research results of other Contracting Parties, and has initiated cooperation between the Tervuren Museum in Belgium and INECN on non-insect invertebrates. Moreover Burundi receives banana cultivars from the University of Leuven (KUL) through IRAZ. The INECN also signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Centre for Ecology and Physiology of Insects (PKI) based in Nairobi, Kenya, for the sharing of benefits arising from research and development through this collaboration INECN-ICP-ISABU.

Comoros (2009) Fisheries agreement with EU and regulatory framework.

Ethiopia (2014)The agreement between EBI and a private USA based company on access and benefit sharing from the use of Dichrostachys cinerea, Osyris quadripartitum and Withania somnifera species for the purpose of producing essential oils, cosmetics and herbal medicine. Ethiopia earned an upfront payment and the benefits accrued from the access of the above genetic resources will be shared equitably between the company and the local communities/the government of Ethiopia. The benefits are incentives to the local communities/government to conserve and sustainably utilize biodiversity. Moreover, local companies that were using different genetic resources such as Aloe and Moringa stenopetala species for various commercial purposes came into legal agreements with EBI for the use of the genetic materials in a way that the agreements enable income generation for the companies as well as the local communities and sustainably utilize the resources base.
(2012)The Access and Benefit-Sharing Agreement on Teff Genetic Resources
(2009)The case of teff and vernoni Teff
(2006)Beneftit sharing in the teff case; Institute of Biodiversity Conservation of Ethiopia and Vernique Biotech Ltd (UK)

Kenya 1. Bioprospecting for enzymes in protected areas
2. Millennium Seed Bank Project – Kenya
3. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), The International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), and Novozymes and Diversa (Verenium) Corporation: Agreements in the Industrial Biotech Sector
4. Measures

Madagascar 1. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and Centre National d’Application et des Recherches Pharmaceutiques/Madagascar
2. Measures

Malawi Three permits have so far been issued to Transglobe Produce Limited and Tree Crops Limited for export of genetic materials
1. Generating benefits with wildlife trade
2. Measures; Case study

Mauritius Mauritius

Seychelles Bioprospecting of coco de mer

Uganda Research Fee, PIC, MTA and Access Permit, Revenue Sharing Programme
Measures; Case study

United Republic of Tanzania Traditional Knowledge in the Parakuiyo Community (Maasai)

Zimbabwe 1. CAMPFIRE programme
2. University of Lausanne – Phytera

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
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.

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