The Nagoya Protocol and ABS

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising out of their Utilization (ABS) is an international agreement on biodiversity resulting from the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (CBD). ( 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan).

It has been ratified by the European Union (European Regulation of 16 April 2014) and transposed into French law: Law n°2016-1087 of 8 August 2016.

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The Nagoya Protocol and the various regulations on access and benefit-sharing are the result of the global recognition that biodiversity is being eroded worldwide due in particular to the lack of resources in developing countries invested in its protection. The main objective of these regulations is therefore to prevent "bio-piracy" and to regulate relations between the owner (State) of the resource and the user in order to ensure sustainable and equitable conservation.

In particular, the Nagoya Protocol recognizes the sovereignty of States over their genetic resources (GR) and the rights of peoples over the Traditional Knowledge (TK) associated with these resources.

It aims at the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources: "Any material of plant, animal, fungal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity of actual or potential value" (CBD definition) for research purposes.


  1. I am a researcher at AMU and I wish to collect a GR as part of a funded project in a foreign country :

The texts adopted are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted in 1992 and the Nagoya Protocol adopted in 2010.

What do I have to do?

  1. Ask myself if I am in the presence of a GR or TK that could belong to a State or an Indigenous Community.
  2. What do I want to do with RG?
  3. Has the State of ownership ratified the Nagaoya Protocol and/or has it ABS regulations?

I'm checking out the website: and I find the point of contact in the supplier country...

  1. I request authorization to harvest the resource from the focal point (Prior Intent Consent - PIC).

Please note that without this authorisation, the sample cannot be taken*.

  1. Once authorization is obtained, I can take the resource, then a contract must be drawn up to include the conditions for benefit sharing (Material Transfer Agreement or a MAT between the provider country and AMU).

If the country is part of the European Union and has ratified the Nagoya Protocol:

I have to obtain a certificate of access to the resource BY MAKING A DUE DILIGENCE DDD declaration

(model declarations in Annexes I and II of the European Regulation).

(objective: to trace the GR and its use in accordance with the authorization)

This declaration is requested for the ANR and H2020 projects

  1. I am an AMU researcher and I wish to collect a GR as part of a project funded under French sovereignty :

What should I do?

The two relevant ministries must be contacted:

  1. I make my declaration of due diligence (objective to trace the GR and its use in accordance with the authorization) DDD to the Ministry of Research (MESRI) if the research is carried out in France
  2. Contact the Ministry of Ecological Transition to download the CERFA forms.



Cerfa form n°15784 - Application for authorization for access to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources of non-domesticated animal or non-crop plant species, and sharing of benefits arising from their use

Form cerfa n°15785 - Request for authorization for access to genetic resources of non-domesticated animal or non-cultivated plant species, and the sharing of benefits arising from their use.

AMU procedure :

WARNING are not covered by the Nagoya Protocol:

-human GR

- GR outside national jurisdiction: Antarctic and High Seas.

  • GRs , irrespective of their origin covered by the ITPGRFA (FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Research, Breeding and Training for Food and Agriculture and the 64 resources in Annex I, )ü

-WHO's framework for pandemic influenza preparedness.


Useful links

Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - convention, list of signatory states
CBD platform (Access and benefits sharing clearing-house) - list of ABS focal points in each Country. Information documents

Website of the Fondation de la Recherche pour la Biodiversité: general information on foreign, European and French regulations.

Website Ministry of Ecology and Solidarity Transition: Law relating to the reconquest of Biodiversity, Nature and Landscape (Law n°2016-1087 of August 8, 2016)

Order of September 13, 2017 setting the standard contract for sharing the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources taken from the national territory, (article R. 412-20 of the environment code)
Order of 8 November 2017 on the forms for declaration and application for authorization of access to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge:

Contact information

Audrey Zeitoun-Janssens and Sarah Jordan
Directorate of Research and Development
In charge of the implementation of the Nagoya protocol

ABS, genetic resources, taking, licensing, Nagoya, biodiversity, authorization
traditional knowledge, PIC, MAT, collections, MTA