One of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the "fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding".
The mandate to negotiate an international regime on access and benefit-sharing was established by the COP at its seventh meeting, in 2004. At its ninth meeting, the COP instructed the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing to finalize the negotiations by its tenth meeting and provided a detailed calendar of meetings. As mandated, the Working Group met three times during the inter-sessional period of the COP.
At the ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing, which was held in Cali, Colombia, from 22 to 28 March 2010 (WG-ABS 9), a draft protocol was tabled by the Co-Chairs and accepted by Parties as a basis for further negotiations. However, since it was not possible to finalize the text at this session, the Working Group decided to suspend the meeting at the end of the seven days and to resume the ninth meeting of the Working Group in order for it to complete its mandate. The resumed ninth meeting of the Working Group will be held from 10-16 July 2010 in Montreal, Canada. This will be the last chance for the Working Group to meet prior to the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to be held from 18-29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, where the international regime is to be adopted.