NATIONAL COORDINATION CENTRE ON ACCESS TO GENETIC RESOURCES AND BENEFIT-SHARING

CHECKPOINT FOR MONITORING THE UTILIZATION OF GENETIC RESOURCES
31 October 2019

Global UNDP-GEF Project
“Strengthening of Human Resources, Legal Frameworks
and Institutional Capacities to Implement the Nagoya Protocol
in the Republic of Belarus”
(2018-2019)

The collection of materials is destined for researchers, postgraduate students, master‘s degree students, students of higher education institutions, specialists of research and environmental institutions, ministries and other stakeholders.

PREFACE
The accelerated process of wildlife species extinction on the Earth has led to the need for adopting the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (5 June 1992), which aims to conserve biological diversity, sustainably use its components and ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources by providing access to them and transferring related technologies, while respecting all rights to such resources and technologies.


In the modern world, the problems of studying, preserving and sustainably using of wildlife (bioresources) are directly related to political and economic issues. Therefore, 168 out of 193 UN member States are Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.


All wildlife resources possessed by countries, as well as the results of activities in the field of breeding and biotechnology in the form of economically valuable plant varieties, animal breeds, strains of microorganisms, including GMOs, are genetic resources. In the past two and a half decades, they have become objects of commercial interest and biopiracy due to the rapid growth in the use of those genetic resources in various areas of the production activity.


The Nagoya Protocol is designed to address Target 3 of the Convention related to providing of access to genetic resources and developing an international regime to promote and ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits between the providers and users of genetic resources (as opposed to biopiracy) and associated traditional knowledge (intangible cultural heritage) and identifying measures that ensure legal access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge and their use monitoring and ensuring that the principle of transparency is observed.


In 1992, the Republic of Belarus signed, and in 1993, ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity, and in May 2014, acceded to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.


The objects of genetic resources subject to the Nagoya Protocol primarily include: natural flora and fauna, collections of living objects (entire organisms, tissues, cells) or DNA Banks; genetically valuable living organisms used in the production process, as well as genetic resources used for food production and agriculture, taking into account their special role in ensuring food security (safety).


With regard to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, the Nagoya Protocol considers it in the context of the legal framework for access to such knowledge and the protection of rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge. There are no indigenous peoples and local communities in Belarus as defined in the Nagoya Protocol, but there are individuals and communities (associations) that possess traditional knowledge associated the utilization of genetic resources of wild plants and animals and use them not only for food, but also for maintaining human and animal health.


Thus, the accession of the Republic of Belarus to the Nagoya Protocol initiated the process providing for the analysis of national legislation to harmonize it with the Provisions of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity.


The main objective of the Nagoya Protocol is to support national legislation in protecting the rights of providers of genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with those resources in terms of profits the consumer (user) gains from commercial activities using the resources and knowledge provided.


Article 22, Paragraph 3, makes a pointed reference to the following: “As a basis for taking appropriate measures to implement the Protocol, developing country Parties, and in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States among them, and the Parties with economies in transition should identify their needs and priorities for national capacity-building by conducting self-assessments of the national capacity. In doing so, such Parties should support the needs and priorities for capacity-building of indigenous and local communities and related stakeholders identified by them and special emphasis should be given to the capacity needs and priorities of women.”


The compilation presents the reports of experts who analyzed the legal regulation of access to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, including the protection of rights of providers and users of those resources and traditional knowledge to develop recommendations for harmonizing national legislation in line with the Nagoya Protocol. The research was conducted under the Global UNDP-GEF Project “Strengthening of human resources, legal frameworks and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol in the Republic of Belarus” (Registration with the Ministry of Economy of March 30, 2018 No. 2/18/000874).

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