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The Nagoya Protocol Reaches Halfway Point to Entry into Force

Tuesday, 29 October 2013
In the context of the celebration of the “2013 United Nations Treaty Event: Towards Universal Participation and Implementation”,* taken place from 24 to 26 September and from 30 September to 1 October 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, five countries namely Bhutan, Côte D’Ivoire , Guinea Bissau, Indonesia and Norway have deposited their instruments of ratification for the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Raising from their Utilization, thus bringing to 25 the total number of ratifications to this ground-breaking treaty under the umbrella of  the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). With the five new ratifications the Nagoya Protocol reaches halfway point to entry into force.

It is noteworthy that Norway becomes the first developed country to ratify the Nagoya Protocol. The growing community of States that has ratified this instrument highlights its importance both for obtaining access to genetic resources and for sharing benefits arising from their use. In parallel, Indonesia becomes the fourth mega-diverse country to ratify the Nagoya Protocol**. The commitment to the Protocol by countries that hold vast stores of biological diversity demonstrates the potential for access and benefit-sharing to contribute to sustainable development and increased knowledge of the value of natural resources while providing the conditions for continuous research on and development of genetic resources.

This landmark treaty on genetic resources was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its tenth meeting on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. It will entry into force on the 90th day after the date of deposit of the 50th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession by States or regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the CBD (Art.33(1)). The five countries join Albania, Botswana, Comoros, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Honduras, India, Jordan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mauritius, Mexico, the Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Panama, Rwanda, the Seychelles, South Africa, the Syrian Arab Republic and Tajikistan as countries that have ratified or acceded to the landmark treaty.
The cardinal objective of the Nagoya Protocol is to provide an international legal framework  for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding, thereby contributing to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components.

The ratifications by Bhutan, Côte D’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Indonesia and Norway have significantly added to the momentum towards entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol in time for the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, to be hosted by the Republic of Korea in October 2014”, said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary, adding, “We now have ratifications from all regions of the world, attesting to the broad support for this Protocol and its objective of contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity through access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising from their use”.

In an effort to highlight the dire need for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon, as part of his message for the 2013 International Day for Biological Diversity, “called on all Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity who have not already done so, to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, and therefore help us all to work toward the future we want”.

*The UN Treaty Event organized annually by the United Nations gives countries the opportunity to sign or become party to treaties on critical issues such as human rights, disarmament and the environment on the margins of the General Assembly’s high-level debate.
** The three other mega-diverse countries that have ratified the Nagoya Protocol are: India, Mexico and South Africa.

Sources: CBD
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