Adoption of the Regulation on access to genetic resources will pave way to ratification of Nagoya Protocol

11 December 2013, Last updated at, 13:54 EET
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author: AFP/Scanpix

The Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) endorsed the agreement reached by the Lithuanian Presidency in informal trilogue negotiations with the European Parliament on the Proposal for a Regulation on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization in the Union. This Regulation will contribute to the effective implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in the EU.

According to the Minister of Environment of Lithuania Valentinas Mazuronis, this legislative text sets out a clear and sound framework for implementing compliance measures for users from the Nagoya Protocol and it should contribute to the conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of its components, while at the same time enhance opportunities available for nature-based research and development activities in the Union.

“Genetic resources should be preserved and utilised in sustainable ways and the benefits arising from their utilisation should be shared fairly and equitably. This would contribute to environment sustainability, poverty eradication, and other goals set by the Nagoya Protocol. It will allow the EU to participate on the global level in full value. At Union level, this Regulation will help the Member States to better achieve the objectives of the Nagoya Protocol and will increase a legal certainty for users,” said the Lithuanian Minister.

The Lithuanian Presidency thanked the previous Cyprus and Irish Presidencies for their contribution on this legislative dossier, the Commission for its valuable input during the negotiations, and the European Parliament for its constructiveness.

This Regulation establishes rules for compliance with access and benefit-sharing for genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources in accordance with the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol.

The Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives signed a letter to be sent to the Chair of the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament, according to the first reading procedure.

The Lithuanian Presidency entered negotiations with the co-legislator on 16 October. The third and last trilogue took place on 28 November.


The Commission submitted the above-mentioned proposal on 25 October 2012. The proposal aims to implement the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization in the EU and enable EU ratification. 23 Member States and the EU have already signed the Nagoya Protocol. The proposal aims to deliver on "Aichi Target 16" of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity which foresees that by 2015 the Nagoya Protocol is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity ("Nagoya Protocol") is an international treaty adopted on 29 October 2010 by the Parties to the Convention.

A broad range of users and suppliers in the Union, including academic, university and non-commercial researchers and companies from different sectors of industry, use genetic resources for research, development and commercialisation purposes; some also use traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.

Genetic resources represent the gene pool in both natural and cultivated or domesticated species and play a significant and growing role in many economic sectors, including food production, forestry, and the development of medicines, cosmetics, biotechnology and bio-based sources of energy. Genetic resources play a significant role in the implementation of strategies designed to restore damaged ecosystems and safeguard endangered species.

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