Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)

The ABS system and the Nagoya Protocol also apply to non-commercial academic research

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity) is a supplementary agreement to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). It was adopted on 29 October 2010 by the Parties to the CBD at the occasion of their 10th Conference in Nagoya, Japan.

The Nagoya Protocol substantiates the CBD’s ABS regulations. It is meant to provide greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources. It sets out core obligations for its contracting Parties to take measures in relation to access to genetic resources, benefit-sharing and compliance.

Providers are to establish clear rules and procedures for prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms. In addition, they will have to establish national focal points that serve as contact points for ABS information and for granting access. User countries are to take measures to secure compliance regarding the conditions and procedures required by the providing party, among others by taking measures to monitor the utilization of the genetic resources.

The ABS system and the Nagoya Protocol also apply to non-commercial academic research. If and how provider states implement the system at national level – that is the requirement of Prior Informed Consent and the negotiation of Mutually Agreed Terms - depends on the political decision of each individual Party. For parties to the CBD that have not (yet) ratified the Nagoya Protocol, the basic obligations of the CBD remain applicable.

The protocol explicitly recognizes the importance of research for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. Parties shall therefore create conditions that promote such research. This includes simplified measures with regard to access for non-commercial research purposes.

Useful tip:

When trying to access genetic resources abroad, the first step is to contact the National Focal Point to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing of the providing country. Link

  • Events
  • News
  • Publications

South Center
  • 2016
  • article

Innovation and Global Intellectual Property Regulatory Regimes: The Tension between Protection and Access

The South Centre recently published Research Paper No. 67: "Innovation and Global Intellectual Property Regulatory Regimes: The Tension between Protection and Access", authored by Nirmalya Syam and Viviana Munoz Tellez.
Sep 9
Biodiversity conservation
  • conference
  • Bern

Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing: Rights and duties in scientific research

- Participants are informed about the ABS system, the Nagoya Protocol and its implementation in Switzerland
- Participants know the consequences of the Nagoya Protocol for scientific research
- Participants are aware of the rights and duties relating to Nagoya Protocol
- Participants are informed about the supporting tools and know how to proceed
News Entrée en vigueur ordonnance de Nagoya
  • 10.02.2016
  • Swiss National Science Foundation
  • news

Entry into force of the Nagoya Ordinance

The Nagoya Ordinance came into force on 1 February 2016. The SNSF has added sections on Access and Benefit Sharing to its application forms.
Wissenschaft und Politik (P. Blanc)
  • 21.01.2015
  • news

Biodiversität in Politik angekommen

Jetzt geht’s ums Eingemachte: die Schweiz ist mitten in der Debatte, wie die 2012 vom Bundesrat beschlossene Strategie Biodiversität Schweiz umgesetzt werden soll. Am 16. Januar 2015 trafen sich Forschende mit Personen aus Politik, Verwaltung und von NGOs zur Tagung «Biodiversität und Politik: Vielfalt bewegt», um erfolgreiche Strategien zu besprechen. Rund 220 Wissenschaftlerinnen und Fachleute folgten der Einladung zur Tagung, die vom Forum Biodiversität Schweiz organisiert wurde.


Swiss Forum Biodiversity
Laupenstrasse 7
3008 Bern | Switzerland

Tel +41 (0)31 306 93 41

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Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries

KFPE is the information hub for «North-South» research in Switzerland, both for researchers and for the target audience of the research. It promotes efficient, effective and equitable research cooperation with developing and transition countries. By doing so, KFPE contributes to sustainable development and to solving global problems.

Further information (International)

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

European Commission

Specific to collections, food and agriculture

Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Micro-Organisms & Culture Collections

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture