Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 277: Facing the Harsh Reality of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Legislation: An Industry Perspective

Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su14010277

Frank Michiels
Ulrich Feiter
Stéphanie Paquin-Jaloux
Diana Jungmann
Axel Braun
Mary Ann P. Sayoc
Ricard Armengol
Markus Wyss
Bruno David

Access and benefit sharing (ABS) is a framework which refers to a relatively recent type of legal requirements for access to and use of “genetic resources”. They are based on diverse national and regional laws and regulations, which mostly result from the implementation of the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its supplementary agreement, the Nagoya Protocol. Their ambition is to achieve fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources as an incentive to conserve and sustainably use them. This paper describes the experiences, practical constraints and complexities encountered by users of genetic resources when dealing with ABS legislation, with a focus on users from the private sector. We provide insights on how ABS laws have fundamentally changed the way of working with genetic resources, in the hope that it inspires re-thinking of the ABS framework, to better support the overall objectives of the CBD.

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