Facilitating BioTrade in a challenging access and benefit sharing environment
The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing is a new multilateral environmental agreement under the CBD, seeking to clarify definitions, issues of scope and coverage of ABS, and specific actions by user and provider countries of biodiversity resources. The rapid implementation of the Protocol within the European Union and Switzerland is placing considerable pressure on providing countries to adjust, develop and implement effective and efficient ABS frameworks at the national level to be consistent with the Protocol and also benefit from it. Implementing the Protocol in regards to BioTrade will require guidance as to how BioTrade and ABS positively interact and generate complementarity. When and how ABS requirements may be applicable to BioTrade is key to creating the enabling policy and regulatory environments. This scoping study offers an overview of some of the key issues and connections between BioTrade and ABS under the framework of the Nagoya Protocol, the challenges faced by interested actors and suggestions of ways to address them, including in terms of interpretation, implementing policies and legal reforms. Examples, figures and case studies are used to clarify some of the points raised and suggestions on the way forward.