The Nagoya Protocol – what does it mean in practice?


The Nagoya Protocol provides a comprehensive international framework on access to genetic resources, benefit-sharing arising from the use of these resources for research and development, and compliance. All researchers working in the life sciences, who are doing research on non-human biological material like animals, plants and microorganisms, should understand the implications of the Nagoya Protocol. Researchers need to comply to access and benefit-sharing (ABS) obligations and know the EU Regulation  511/2014 for their work.

Compliance matters. The competent authorities across the EU are checking the research community to ensure compliance with the EU Regulation and although measures vary in different countries, researchers could face, for example, orders to stop research, confiscation of their research material and fines in cases of non-compliance. There are other good reasons for being serious about ABS. Non-compliance can lead to negative press and reputational damage, it can make future work difficult in the provider country, and the policies of some scientific journals make compliance with ABS laws necessary before publication is possible.

In this presentation, Elizabeth Karger talks about the practicalities of “doing ABS” and complying with the EU Regulation.


About the speaker:

Elizabeth Karger is an Australian lawyer and the manager of the German Nagoya Protocol HuB (Hilfe und Beratung), which is a project funded through the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN). The Nagoya Protocol HuB project aims to support academic researchers with understanding their Nagoya Protocol obligations. Elizabeth is based at the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures (DSMZ) in Braunschweig, Germany. Prior to joining DSMZ, Elizabeth worked on ABS and Nagoya Protocol related issues for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the competent authority in Germany, the BfN.