Africa / Asia / Biodiversity / CGIAR / Environment / Indigenous Breeds / Latin America

Crop and livestock agricultural research centres welcome Nagoya Protocol

A boy rides one of his small native mountain buffaloes in northern Viet Nam
A herdsboy rides one of his small native mountain buffaloes in northern Viet Nam (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

Bioversity International and the other 14 centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), including the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), welcome the Nagoya Protocol that was hammered out at the eleventh hour in the central Japanese city of Nagoya last Friday.

Here is what the Rome-based Bioversity International—which coordinated the production of a series of agriculturally related policy briefs and the organization of side meetings for the CGIAR at this, the tenth Meeting of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity—had to say.

‘Delegates from more than 100 countries agreed the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization in the early hours of 29 October. The Nagoya Protocol sets terms on how countries will permit access to genetic resources, share the benefits arising from their use, and cooperate with one another in allegations of misuse. It will come into force 90 days after it has been ratified by at least 50 parties. . . .

‘The adoption of the Nagoya Protocol . . . has ended six years of hard-scrabble negotiating. At issue were the conditions under which countries will provide access to genetic resources within their boundaries, the kinds of benefits that should be shared when those resources are used, and how far countries will cooperate with one another when there are allegations of illegal uses. . . .

‘[T]he Protocol recognizes pre-existing norms for access and benefit sharing established by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. This is particularly important for the CGIAR centers because in 2006 they signed agreements with the Governing Body of the Treaty, placing the ex situ collections of PGRFA [Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture] which they host (with approximately 700,000 accessions of crop and forage germplasm) under the Treaty’s framework. . . .

‘Much of the delay in agreeing the Protocol was caused by two other decisions negotiators had to struggle with, the Financial Mechanism of the Convention and the ten year Strategic Plan to save biodiversity. Some countries did not want to agree any of these three, unless all three could be agreed to at the same time. In the end, that is exactly what happened.’

Read the whole (good) news in a release by Bioversity International: Bioversity welcomes Nagoya Protocol, 30 October 2010.

Read a factsheet developed by Bioversity and ILRI on Animal Genetic Resources and Biodiversity.

Read the whole series of 11 (handsome) factsheets produced by Bioversity for this important Nagoya meeting.

One thought on “Crop and livestock agricultural research centres welcome Nagoya Protocol

  1. The following news update comes from Tierramérica:

    ‘The delegates to the 10th Conference of Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity ended up with a relatively weak plan for the Herculean task of halting the disappearance of species. The exception was a pact on the use of genetic resources.

    ‘Delegates from 193 countries agreed to put under protection 17 percent of land and 10 percent of oceans by 2020 to stop the loss of plant and animal diversity in their ecosystems.

    ‘Currently less than 10 percent of land and less than one percent of the oceans are protected. Previous targets had been 25 and 15 percent, respectively

    ‘But among the items agreed was the “Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilisation,” the most notable achievement of COP 10 — which had been in negotiations for 18 years.

    ‘The Nagoya Protocol establishes mechanisms for making use of the genetic material in plants, animals and microbes for food, medicines, industrial products, cosmetics and other applications.

    ‘”Access” refers to how such genetic material is obtained, and “benefit sharing” refers to how the advantages or profits from their use are distributed.

    ‘The array of uses of genetic materials from plants and animals owes a great deal to the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples acquired over the millennia through use and observation.

    ‘Indigenous peoples say they are holders or caretakers of much of the world’s biodiversity and traditional knowledge. Without a formal international agreement like the Nagoya Protocol, halting the ongoing loss of species will be impossible. . . .

    ‘An agreement on the complex and contentious issue came only at the last minute, with the intervention of Ryu Matsumoto, Japan’s environment minister, according to delegates like Malaysia’s Nijar.’

    Read the whole news story at Tierramérica: ‘Biodiversity pact begins with the genes’, 31 October 2010.

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