Access to Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge and Sharing the Benefits arising from their Utilization (ABS)

Präparierte Insekten

The regulations on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)  and the Nagoya Protocol (NP) concern all types of research – industrial as well as academic – that make use of genetic resources of plant, animal bacterial  or other origin and/or of traditional knowledge associated to these resources.

Therefore, as an academic scientist doing research with biological material from abroad, you may also be affected by Access and Benefit-sharing requirements. You are obliged to comply with domestic ABS regulations of the country (that is a Party to the CBD, NP) that provides the genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge and of the Party where you take the material to be analysed, for instance Switzerland.

If legislation in the country providing the genetic resources is missing, researchers have an ethical responsibility to apply for access to the genetic resources and to share the benefits, as is the custom in Good Scientific Practice. 

Switzerland has ratified the CBD, the Nagoya Protocol and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA). Corresponding legislation is in place and applies also to academic research.

As an academic research institution you are responsible that your scientists comply with the ABS requirements.


The website offers:

animal crab


An overview of Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-sharing (ABS) and its implications for academic research
Lotus corniculatus et azuré

Good practice

The publication provides advice for scientists and research institutions in planning and executing research projects that include genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. It clarifies requirements of the Convention of Biological Diversity, its Nagoya Protocol and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. It also explains the Swiss regulations implementing the Nagoya Protocol.
Forum Biodiversität Produkte

Agreement toolbox

This manual contains a set of model clauses that enables users and providers of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge to set up a contract that is adapted to the individual academic research situation. If mutually negotiated and agreed upon by the involved partners it ca yield a "Mutually Agreed Terms" ABS contract

  • Events
  • News
  • Publications

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
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.
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

Logo von Kommission für Forschungspartnerschaften mit Entwicklungsländern

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.


Swiss legal documents (English, German, French, Italian)

Swiss Nagoya Protocol Website

Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing House (ABSCH)