In October, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing. The Nagoya Protocol is a new set of international rules that will seek to advance implementation of CBD access and benefit sharing principles. Companies that use biodiversity in their research and development activities will need to consider the implications of these new rules, as well as the opportunities for early adoption of its approaches along their supply chains.
The following UEBT technical brief on the Nagoya Protocol explains the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol with a possible bearing on companies working with biodiversity-based ingredients in the food and personal care sectors. In particular, the paper highlights issues such as:
- Definitions that include broader types of research and development in the scope of access and benefit sharing,
- Developments in access and benefit sharing requirements, and
- Innovative mechanisms, including a possible global multilateral fund to facilitate sharing of benefits, checkpoints along the supply chain to control legitimate access and use of biodiversity, and internationally recognized certificates of compliance.
The technical brief concludes that the Nagoya Protocol, as a renewed call for all stakeholders to take into account access and benefit sharing , requires companies working with biodiversity to review relevant policies and practices along the supply chain. Early adoption of benefit sharing practices will reduce the growing reputation and regulatory risks of non-compliance that come with the Nagoya Protocol. These practices also provide companies an opportunity to advance their engagement and commitment to the ethical sourcing of biodiversity.