January 31, 2024. At the Meeting of the 10th Session of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus of the 7th Convocation, the deputies adopted the draft Law “On Genetic Resources Management” of the Republic of Belarus in its second reading.
The draft law has been developed in furtherance 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 (2010) (the Republic of Belarus has been a Party to the Protocol since 2014), thereby accepting commitments to its implementation. Our State has significant genetic resources that can be provided to interested countries for use deriving monetary or non-monetary benefits.
The subject of legal regulation of the draft law constitutes social relations arising in connection with the management of the genetic resources of animals, plants and microorganisms, their parts or derivatives located both in specially created human-made conditions and wild animals and wild plants removed or subject to removal from their natural habitats, as well as traditional knowledge associated with them.
The draft law provides definitions of the main terms used in it, such as “genetic resources”, “genetic material”, “genetic resources management” etc.
The basic principles in the field of genetic resources management have been defined, which give consideration to the international commitments of the Republic of Belarus under the Nagoya Protocol, and the powers of officials and government bodies in the field of genetic resources management have been established. The issues related to coordination and scientific support in this area are reflected.
Also, the draft law defines the issues of providing access to genetic resources, the rights and obligations of the providers and users of such resources, the essential terms of their transfer agreement, monitoring issues in this area, and a procedure for distributing monetary and non-monetary benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources.