The Nagoya Protocol and ABS
NHM is obliged to comply with international rules on the management of genetic resources through the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol.
Convention on Biological Diversity
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 and ratified by Norway in 1993. The convention aims to conserve the Earth's biodiversity by ensuring sustainable use and equitable sharing of biological resources.
The Nagoya Protocol
At the tenth conference of the parties to the Convention in Nagoya on 29 October 2010, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted. Norway ratified the protocol on 11 May 2011.
The Nagoya Protocol deals with access to genetic resources and equitable sharing of benefits related to the utilization of such resources (Access and Benefit Sharing, ABS). The protocol entered into force on 12 October 2014, 90 days after the fiftieth country had ratified the agreement. As of today (22 January 2016), 70 countries have ratified the protocol.
The Norwegian Nature Diversity Act
The Nature Diversity Act (Act relating to the management of biological, geological and landscape diversity, or Lov om forvaltning av naturens mangfold in Norwegian) entered into force on 1 July 2009. § 60 covers utilization of genetic material from other countries in Norway, including the following quotes:
«The import for utilisation in Norway of genetic material from a state that requires consent for collection or export of such material may only take place in accordance with such consent»
«If national law in the provider country requires consent for the collection of biological material, it shall be accompanied by information to the effect that such consent has been obtained»
«If the provider country is a country other than the country of origin of the genetic material, the country of origin shall also be stated. The country of origin means the country in which the material was collected from in situ sources. If national law in the country of origin requires consent for the collection of genetic material, information as to whether such consent has been obtained shall be provided. If the information under this paragraph is not known, this shall be stated»
For material imported on or after 1 July 2009 contacting the providing country will therefore often be required, in order to identify any relevant laws and regulations at the time of export.
Who needs to be aware of the guidelines?
It is the responsibility of the individual researcher to comply with ABS and other relevant regulations.
You must be aware of ABS and the Nagoya Protocol if you have plans to
- collect or utilize genetic material from abroad
- collect or utilize associated traditional knowledge from abroad
- have foreign collaborators who want to collect genetic material from Norway
Note that the Nagoya Protocol also applies to loans of genetic resources.
Genetic material is defined by CBD as "any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity". Genetic resources are defined as "genetic material of actual or potential value".
Start in time
We also recommend reading through the NHM wiki page about ABS as part of the preparations for the collection work. Please note that the process of obtaining all necessary permits and other documentation may take several months, so be sure to start in time!