Publication: Implications of the Nagoya Protocol for genome resource banks composed of biomaterials from rare and endangered species

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The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising
from their Utilisation is a multilateral legal instrument within the Convention on Biodiversity. It has now come into force,
having been signed by 92 countries, 68 of which have ratified it, but notably these do not yet include the US, China, Canada
and Russia. The overarching objective of the Nagoya Protocol is to prevent the unfair commercial exploitation of a
country’s biodiversity and it also protects traditional knowledge. Although the intentions seem reasonable and equitable,
the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol will have major effects on the ability of researchers in both the commercial and
non-commercial sectors to access genetic materials (which are widely defined and include almost every conceivable
animal product, as well as whole animals) from around the world. It also places a heavy bureaucratic burden on researchers
and their institutions, which must comply with an international standard and obtain an International Certificate of
Compliance proving that all samples will be collected according to the terms of the Protocol.