Activity 3: Take measures regarding the sharing of benefits

Below are the global and regional obligations in this activity:
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Component 1: Take measures regarding the sharing of benefits from genetic resources (general)

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Take legislative, administrative or policy measures with the aim of sharing in a fair and equitable way the results of research and development and the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of genetic resources with the Contracting Party providing such resources, upon mutually agreed terms: CBD Article 15,7
  • Take all practicable measures to promote and advance priority access on a fair and equitable basis by Contracting Parties, especially developing countries, to the results and benefits arising from biotechnologies based upon genetic resources provided by those Contracting Parties: CBD Article 19, 2 SEE COMMENTARY 1
  • Establish mechanisms to facilitate the sharing of benefits at local, national, regional and global levels: CBD Decision VI/22, 11 and CBD Decision VI/22, Annex (Expanded programme of work on forest biological diversity).SEE COMMENTARY 2
  • Provide for a flexible benefit-sharing mechanism that allows for the benefit-sharing to be determined by the partners involved and variations on a case-by-case basis: 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
  • In mechanisms for sharing benefits, include those benefits that derive from commercial products including trust funds, joint ventures and licences with preferential 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 4
Component 2: Facilitate access to and transfer of technology as a means of benefit-sharing

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Take legislative, administrative or policy measures with the aim that Contracting Parties, in particular those that are developing countries, which provide genetic resources are provided access to and transfer of technology which makes use of those resources, on mutually agreed terms, including technology protected by patents and other intellectual property rights: CBD Article 16,3
  • Take legislative, administrative or policy measures with the aim that the private sector facilitates access to, joint development and transfer of technology referred to in CBD Article 16,1 for the benefit of both governmental institutions and the private sector of developing countries: CBD Article 16,4 SEE COMMENTARY 5
Component 3: Take measures regarding joint research with the providing country

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Take legislative, administrative or policy measures to provide for the effective participation in biotechnological research activities by those Contracting Parties, especially developing countries, which provide the genetic resources for such research, and where feasible in such Contracting Parties: CBD Article 19,1
  • Develop and carry out scientific research based on genetic resources provided by other Contracting Parties with the full participation of, and where possible in, such Contracting Parties: CBD Article 15,6
  • In mechanisms for sharing benefits, include full cooperation in scientific research and technology development: 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
  • States and competent international organizations undertaking marine scientific research in the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf of a coastal State: Ensure the right of the coastal State, if it so desires, to participate or be represented in the marine scientific research project, especially on board research vessels and other craft or scientific research installations, when practicable, without payment of any remuneration to the scientists of the coastal State and without obligation to contribute towards the costs of the project: UNCLOS Article 249,1(a)
Component 4: Develop mutually agreed terms (MAT)

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources with the Contracting Party providing such resources shall be upon mutually agreed terms: CBD Article 15,7
  • When developing mutually agreed terms to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits, consider the following principles or basic requirements: (a) Legal certainty and clarity; (b) Minimization of transaction costs, by, for example: (i) Establishing and promoting awareness of the government’s and relevant stakeholders’ requirements for prior informed consent and contractual arrangements; (ii) Ensuring awareness of existing mechanisms for applying for access, entering into arrangements and ensuring the sharing of benefits; (iii) Developing framework agreements, under which repeat access under expedited arrangements can be made; (iv) Developing standardized material transfer agreements and benefit-sharing arrangements for similar resources and similar uses; (c) Inclusion of provisions on user and provider obligations; (d) Development of different contractual arrangements for different resources and for different uses and development of model agreements; (e) Different uses may include, inter alia, taxonomy, collection, research, commercialization; (f) Mutually agreed terms should be negotiated efficiently and within a reasonable period of time; (g) Mutually agreed terms should be set out in a written agreement 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
  • When developing MAT, consider as guiding parameters in contractual agreements or as basic requirements for mutually agreed terms: (a) Regulating the use of resources in order to take into account ethical concerns of the particular Parties and stakeholders, in particular indigenous and local communities concerned; (b) Making provision to ensure the continued customary use of genetic resources and related knowledge; (c) Provision for the use of intellectual property rights include joint research, obligation to implement rights on inventions obtained and to provide licences by common consent; (d) The possibility of joint ownership of intellectual property rights according to the degree of contribution: 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
Component 5: Take measures regarding the sharing of benefits from plant genetic resources for food and agriculture

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

Component 6: Take measures regarding the sharing of benefits from marine scientific research

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • States and competent international organizations undertaking marine scientific research in the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf of a coastal State: Ensure the right of the coastal State, if it so desires, to participate or be represented in the marine scientific research project, especially on board research vessels and other craft or scientific research installations, when practicable, without payment of any remuneration to the scientists of the coastal State and without obligation to contribute towards the costs of the project: UNCLOS Article 249.1a
  • States and competent international organizations undertaking marine scientific research in the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf of a coastal State: Provide the coastal State, at its request, with preliminary reports, as soon as practicable, and with the final results and conclusions after the completion of the research: UNCLOS Article 249.1b
Component 7: Take measures regarding the sharing of benefits from forest genetic resources

Directly relevant obligations and commitments


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Author Commentary 1

Such access shall be on mutually agreed terms, CBD Article 19.2.

Author Commentary 2

This refers to Activity a) under Programme Element 1, Goal 5, Objective 1 of the expanded programme of work on forest biological diversity.

Author Commentary 3

This refers to provision 49 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 4

This refers to provision 50 of the Bonn Guidelines.

Author Commentary 5

CBD Article 16,1 obliges Parties to provide and/or facilitate access for and transfer to other Parties of technologies that are relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity or make use of genetic resources and do not cause significant damage to the environment.

Author Commentary 6

This refers to provision 50 of the Bonn guidelines

Author Commentary 7

This refers to provision 42 of the Bonn Guidelines

Author Commentary 8

This refers to provision 43 of the Bonn Guidelines

Author Commentary 9

Article 13 of the ITPGRFA relates to ‘Benefit-sharing in the Multilateral System’.

Author Commentary 10

The Standard Material Transfer Agreement is set out in Appendix G to ITPGRFA Resolution 2/2006

Author Commentary 11

This refers to Activity a) under Programme Element 1, Goal 5, Objective 1, of the expanded programme of work on forest biological diversity. Benefits under this objective are benefits resulting from the utilization of forest genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.