Information on legal requirements for researchers
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (the ‘ABS’ Protocol) is an international agreement that implements the access and benefit-sharing obligations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Genetic resources in this context include any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity which is of actual or potential value, or derivatives.
Researchers who source or use such material are required to 'exercise diligence' to ensure that genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with those resources have been accessed in accordance with applicable access and benefit sharing laws implemented by the source country.
Traditional knowledge refers to knowledge, know-how and practice of indigenous and local communities relevant for the utilisation of the genetic resources accessed under the protocol.
The protocol does not apply to:
- human genetic resources
- genetic resources covered by specialised ABS treaties that are supportive of the CBD (for instance, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture)
Step-by-Step guide to ensure compliance
If you are accessing material that is subject to the Nagoya Protocol, you must:
- Use the Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House (ABSCH) to identify the relevant national laws, procedures and contact points in the country(ies) from which you wish to source the material.
- Make all reasonable efforts to gain prior, explicit informed consent and agree the terms and conditions of access. This should deal with the dissemination of research results, the publication or other sharing of research data, and any potential exploitation. please liaise with the Contracts Team where necessary.
- Keep records related to (1) and (2) for 20 years. These records may be inspected by the regulator.
- Register resources collected under the Nagoya Protocol with the University as per the University of Manchester's Compliance Policy using the Record of Genetic Materials form.
If you are providing access to material that is subject to the Nagoya Protocol, you must:
- Ensure such action is consistent with the original access and benefits-sharing arrangements
- Keep records of such sharing/access for 20 years. These records may be inspected by the regulator.