Access to Marine Genetic Resources of ABNJ

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From the report of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee, 31/07/17 :

The text would address access.

From the President's aid for discussions, 25/06/18:

(a) The manner in which access would be addressed in the instrument, including whether access to the marine genetic resources of areas beyond national jurisdiction would be regulated.

(b) If access is regulated:

(i) How would access be regulated?

(ii) What would be the practical consequences of such regulation and would they be addressed in the instrument? If so, how?

(iii) Would there be different access provisions depending on where the marine genetic resources are sourced or originate from?

(iv) Would access to marine genetic resources be regulated for all activities?

(c) If access is unregulated, what would be the practical consequences and would they be addressed in the instrument? If so, how?

Suggestion 1: Obligations for notification, reporting and recording[edit | edit source]

States shall take measures to ensure notification, reporting and recording of sampling activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction through the Clearing-house mechanism established under this section.

References: Nagoya Protocol Art 14 (clearing house), Nagoya Protocol Art 17 (monitoring), UNCLOS Art 248 (duty to provide information), Art 242; Art 143.3(a) (international cooperation), Art 244.1; Art 143.3(c) (publish information), Art 244.2, Art 144.2 (knowledge transfer); Mare Geneticum (OPEN notification).

Suggestion 2: Specify notification/reporting requirements[edit | edit source]

Requirements for reporting/notification by those intending to access MGR could be set out in the agreement or an Annex, or determined by the decision-making body.

Reporting requirements could include:

  • Information about collector
  • Type and quantity of genetic resource sought
  • Geographical prospecting area
  • Starting date and duration of activity
  • Evaluation of potential impacts on conservation/sustainable use of biodiversity
  • Information on intended research/use
  • Indication of benefit-sharing arrangements

References: Nagoya Protocol MOP 1 Decision NP-1/2, Bonn Guidelines, para 36 (indicative list)

Suggestion 3: Requirements to be determined by decision-making parties[edit | edit source]

Contracting Parties develop and adopt their own notification, reporting and recording requirements based on international guidelines, codes of conduct, etc.

References: Nagoya Protocol Art 20 on Codes of Conduct, Guidelines and Best Practices and Standards

Suggestion 4: Requirements for EIAs[edit | edit source]

Require Environmental Impact Assessments in accordance with the relevant provisions of this agreement. (see EIAs and SEAs, section 3, page 23)

References: UNCLOS Art 240(d); Art 206 (protection of environment)

Suggestion 5: Guidelines for collecting samples[edit | edit source]

States have the right to undertake scientific research consistent with their obligations under Articles 256, 257 and 238 of UNCLOS. States shall undertake scientific research in accordance with their obligations under Article 244 of UNCLOS.

Best practice guidelines could be developed to support standardisation of collecting, storing and curating samples (i.e. accessing MGR in ABNJ) to facilitate access to MGR samples and international scientific cooperation (i.e. thereby supporting non-monetary benefit sharing).

References: InterRidge code of conduct, InterRidge statement of commitment

Also see[edit | edit source]