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Side Event

Design your tailor-made MAT! Presentation of a model ABS Agreement for non-commercial research with optional clauses and Launch of the report on the ABS program 2003-2010 of the Swiss Academy of Sciences

Swiss Academy of Sciences

Date and Time
20 October 2010 18:15 - 19:45

Tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10)

The Swiss Academy of Sciences presents the first of its kind ABS agreement on Mutually Agreed Terms, containing Model Clauses. The Agreement is adapted to the specific situation of non-commercial research sponsored by public funding. It contains a set of contractual clauses that intends to foster a cooperative relation, an atmosphere of trustful negotiation and to avoid unnecessary transaction costs in the negotiation and implementation of the Mutually Agreed Terms. It has been elaborated by the ABS team of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, together with an international team of experts. It will be freely available on the SCNAT ABS website. The concept of the Agreement is based on the premise that the Mutually Agreed Terms are a bilateral contract to be negotiated between providers and users. The agreement contains suggestions for terms and clauses to meet the needs of both, the providers of genetic resources and the researchers seeking access. It offers a choice of optional clauses for the essential components of an ABS relationship in order to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits. These clauses allow parties to the agreement to take account of each other’s specific needs and circumstances, to choose the clauses most appropriate to their situation and to their intentions, and so to create their tailor-made MAT. The Agreement is one result of the ABS awareness raising and capacity building programme that the Swiss Academy of Science has carried out in partnership with the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). At the occasion of the side event, a brochure describing this Program will be launched. The report describes the experiences with the national program to promote compliance with the ABS principles by the research community and presents the results of investigations into the ABS mechanisms. The report includes recommendations and the sample agreement.