The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation, a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity has now been ratified by 50 states entered into force on 12 October 2014.
The Nagoya Protocol is concerned with access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing resulting from the use of those genetic resources (commonly referred to as Access and Benefit Sharing or ABS). On one hand the Protocol establishes a framework for regulating how users of genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources can obtain access to such resources. On the other hand it establishes obligations on benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources.
At present neither Australia,nor New Zealand have ratified the Nagoya Protocol. Australia has signed the Protocol, indicating an intention to eventually become bound and is currently considering what legislative changes are required to implement the Protocol. New Zealand has not signed the Protocol and further consideration appears to be awaiting the Crown response to the Wai 262, Waitangi Tribunal claim. A more detailed discussion of the Wai 262 claim can be found here.
David Nowak - 7 August 2014