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Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Global biodiversity research tied up by juridical interpretations of access and benefit sharing

  • D. Neumann
  • A. V. Borisenko
  • J. A. Coddington
  • C. L. Häuser
  • C. R. Butler
  • A. Casino
  • J. C. Vogel
  • G. Haszprunar
  • P. Giere
Forum Paper

Abstract

The toolbox of instruments regulating access, transfer and use of biological material is currently re-equipped: the Nagoya Protocol was initiated to provide a legal framework to the third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity – the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge (an aspect not discussed here). In the ongoing implementation of the protocol, potentially harmful and far-reaching effects on biological research become evident. Here, we illustrate how vague definitions, lack of legal clarity and coordination, and often restrictive and complex regulations affect the transfer of biological material and associated data. Instead of promoting basic research in conservation and biodiversity, the current situation potentially jeopardises international collaboration, biodiversity research and its applications in monitoring, biocontrol and food safety. We address these challenges and discuss possible options for its practical implementation in the future.

Keywords

Nagoya Protocol Access Benefit sharing Ex-situ collections Information networks Code of conduct 

List of acronyms used in this paper

ABS

Access and Benefit Sharing.

BGCI

Botanical Gardens Conservation International.

BOLD

Barcode of Life Database.

CBD

Convention of Biological Diversity.

CETAF

Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities.

CITES

Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

EU

European Union.

GBIF

Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

GGBN

Global Genome Biodiversity Network.

GR

Genetic Resources.

GTI

Global Taxonomy Initiative of the CBD.

IPEN

International Plant Exchange Network.

IPR

Intellectual Property Rights.

LMMC

Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries includes 17 states: Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa and Venezuela.

MAT

Mutually Agreed Terms.

NGOs

Non-Governmental Organisations.

NP

Nagoya Protocol.

PIC

Prior Informed Consent.

SCBD

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors appreciated the critical and constructive comments of all anonymous reviewers that helped to improve this and earlier versions of the manuscript.

Author’s contribution

D. Neumann and P. Giere wrote the original draft for this article, A.V. Borisenko, C.R. Butler, J.A. Coddington and C.L. Häuser reviewed and commented on earlier versions, C.R. Butler and A. Casino contributed during discussions which helped to shape this article and J.C. Vogel and G. Haszprunar advised on content.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen BayernsZoologische StaatssammlungMunichGermany
  2. 2.Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding, Biodiversity Institute of OntarioUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  3. 3.Global Genome Initiative, National Museum of Natural History, 10th & Constitution NWSmithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Smithsonian InstitutionNational Museum of Natural History, 10th & Constitution NWWashingtonUSA
  5. 5.Museum für NaturkundeLeibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity ScienceBerlinGermany
  6. 6.Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities c/o Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciencesrue Vautier 29BrusselsBelgium

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