Activity 2: Take measures regarding access

Below are the global and regional obligations in this activity:
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Component 1: Determine and facilitate access to genetic resources (general)

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Create conditions to facilitate access to genetic resources for environmentally sound uses by other Contracting Parties and not to impose restrictions that run counter to the objectives of the CBD: CBD Article 15,2 SEE COMMENTARY 1
  • Access, where granted, shall be on mutually agreed terms and subject to the provisions of CBD Article 15: CBD Article 15,4.
  • Access to genetic resources shall be subject to prior informed consent of the Contracting Party providing such resources, unless otherwise determined by that Party: CBD Article 15,5
Component 2: Determine prior informed consent (PIC) for access to genetic resources

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Access to genetic resources shall be subject to prior informed consent of the Contracting Party providing such resources, unless otherwise determined by that Party: CBD Article 15,5 SEE COMMENTARY 2
  • Contracting Parties providing genetic resources: For access to in situ genetic resources, provide for PIC to be obtained through the competent national authority(ies) unless otherwise determined: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 3
  • Specify requirements for obtaining PIC (national/provincial/local), as PIC may be required from different levels of government, in accordance with national legislation: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization)SEE COMMENTARY 4
  • For ex situ collections, provide for prior informed consent to be obtained from the competent national authority(ies) and/or the body governing the ex situ collection concerned as appropriate: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 5
  • Provide for PIC to be sought adequately in advance to be meaningful both for those seeking and those granting access, and for decisions on application for access to genetic resources to be taken within a reasonable period of time: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 6
  • Base PIC on the specific uses for which consent has been granted; stipulate permitted uses and require further PIC for changes or unforeseen uses: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 7
  • Take into consideration specific needs of taxonomic and systematic research as specified by the Global Taxonomy Initiative: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 8
  • Link PIC to the requirement of mutually agreed terms: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 9
  • Consider, and adapt to national circumstances, a list of information to be provided to enable the competent authority to determine whether or not access to a genetic resource should be granted: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 10
  • Provide for applications for access to genetic resources through PIC to be documented in written form: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 11
  • Provide for decisions by the competent authority(ies) to grant access or not to be documented in written form: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 12
  • Competent autority(ies) granting prior informed concent: Can grant access by issuing a permit or licence or following other appropriate procedures: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 13
  • Competent autority(ies) granting prior informed concent: Can establish a national registration system to record the issuance of all permits or licences, on the basis of duly completed application forms: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 14
  • Provide for the procedures for obtaining an access permit/licence to be transparent and accessible by any interested party: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 15
  • Require the prior informed consent of indigenous and local communities, in accordance with their traditional practices, national access policies and subject to domestic law, when genetic resources are to be accessed: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 16
  • Grant other Member Countries of the Andean Community national, and not discriminatory, treatment in matters relating to access to genetic resources: Andean Community Decision 391, Article 11.SEE COMMENTARY 17
Component 3: Take measures regarding access to associated traditional knowledge

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Require that the prior informed consent of indigenous and local communities and the approval and involvement of the holders of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices be obtained, in accordance with their traditional practices, national access policies and subject to domestic law, when traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is to be accessed: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 18
  • Take note that permission to access genetic resources does not necessarily imply permission to use associated knowledge and vice versa: CBD Decision VI/24, 4 and CBD Decision VI/24, Annex (Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising out of their Utilization).SEE COMMENTARY 19

Component 4: Facilitate access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Take the necessary legal or other appropriate measures to provide facilitated access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture to other Parties to the ITPGRFA through the Multilateral System: ITPGRFA Article 12.2
  • Provide facilitated access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Annex I to the ITPGRFA under the Multilateral System to international agricultural research centres (IARCs) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) that have signed agreements with the Governing Body in accordance with the ITPGRFA: ITPGRFA Article 15.2. SEE COMMENTARY 20
  • Provide international agricultural research centres (IARCs) that have signed agreements with the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA with access, on mutually agreed terms, to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture not listed in Annex I that are important to the programmes and activities of the IARCs: ITPGRFA Article 15.4. SEE COMMENTARY 21
  • Take the measures necessary for the implementation of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement: ITPGRFA Resolution 2/2006, 3.SEE COMMENTARY 22
Component 5: Grant consent for marine scientific research

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Coastal States: Grant, in normal circumstances, consent for marine scientific research projects by other States or competent international organizations in the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf to be carried out in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea exclusively for peaceful purposes and in order to increase scientific knowledge of the marine environment for the benefit of all mankind: UNCLOS Article 246,3.See Commentary 23
  • Coastal States: Establish rules and procedures ensuring that consent to research projects be carried out in accordance with UNCLOS Article 246.3 will not be delayed or denied unreasonably: UNCLOS Article 246.3, 2nd sentence.

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Author Commentary 1

According to CBD Article 15.1, the authority to determine access to genetic resources rests with the national governments and is subject to national legislation.

Author Commentary 2

Paragraph 26 of the Bonn Guidelines (Annex to CBD Decision VI/24) recommends that the basic principles of a system of prior informed consent should include: (a) Legal certainty and clarity; (b) facilitation of access at minimum cost; (c) restrictions on access to genetic resources should be transparent, based on legal grounds, and not run counter to the objectives of the Convention; (d) consent from the relevant competent national authority(ies) in the provider country as well as of relevant stakeholders and indigenous and local communities, as appropriate to the circumstances and subject to domestic law.

Author Commentary 3

This refers to provision 28 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 4

This refers to provision 29 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 5

This refers to provision 32 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 6

This refers to provision 33 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 7

This refers to provision 34 of the Bonn Guidelines. According to paragraph 37 of the Bonn Guidelines, permission to access genetic resources does not necessarily imply permission to use associated knowledge and vice versa. This obligation is repeated in Section 3, Activity 2, Component 1 of this module

Author Commentary 8

This refers to provision 34 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 9

This refers to provision 35 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 10

This refers to provision 36 of the Bonn Guidelines, which contains an indicative list of information (provision 36 (a)–(o)).

Author Commentary 11

This refers to provision 38 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 12

This refers to provision 38 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 13

This refers to provision 39 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 14

This refers to provision 39 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 15

This refers to provision 40 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 16

This refers to provision 31 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 17

The Member Countries may grant national and non-discriminatory treatment to third countries that give them equal treatment.

Author Commentary 18

This refers to provision 31 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 19

This refers to provision 37 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 20

Such IARCs shall be included in a list held by the Secretary to be made available to the Contracting Parties on request:ITPGRFA Article 15.2. This obligation also exists in Section 3 Component 1 of this module.

Author Commentary 21

The IARCs that have signed agreements with the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA shall be included in a list held by the Secretary to be made available to the Contracting Parties on request, ITPGRFA Article 15.2. This obligation also exists in Section 3, activity 1, Component 1 of this module.

Author Commentary 22

The Standard Material Transfer Agreement is set out in Appendix G of the report of the first meeting of the ITPGRFA’s Governing Body

Author Commentary 23

This obligation is repeated in Section 3 (Management), Activity 1 of this module