Germany ratifies the Nagoya Protocol

Great chance for biotechnology companies

Dr Matthias Braun, chairman of he German Association of Biotechnology Industries (DIB), comments the ratifcation: "The Nagoya Protocol is a great chance for biotechnology companies in Germany, because it ensures legal and investment security for the sustainable use of genetic resources." In his opinion it is the right approach to protect biodiversity globally and to care for a sustainable and fair utilization of its resources.

© Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH



Press Release of the
German Association of Biotechnology Industries (Deutschen Industrievereinigung Biotechnologie e.V.)

The German Association of Biotechnology Industries (DIB) welcomes that federal environment minister Hendricks ratified for Germany the so-called Nagoya Protocol, today in New York. This international agreement regulates between the signatory countries the access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their utilization.

DIB chairman Dr Matthias Braun states: “It is the right approach to protect biodiversity globally, to bring its use in a sustainable shape and to justly share the benefits from the utilization of genetic resources. The Nagoya Protocol is a great chance for biotechnology companies in Germany, because it ensures legal and investment security for the sustainable use of genetic resources.”

In the EU the Nagoya Protocol is implemented by way of the ABS Regulation of 2014. Currently, the EU Commission is working on supplementary guidance to support users in implementation. In Germany the EU Regulation is transposed into national law by means of a specific act that will enter into force on 1 July 2016. Braun on the forthcoming national legislation: “We need transparent and fair national implementation rules. These rules need to be workable in daily practice, also for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises.”

The DIB chairman continues: “Some politicians persist in their view that the Nagoya Protocol only came into being to fight biopiracy. This is deplorable. Simply because a small number of the proverbial bad apples are in the focus, many national provisions give emphasis on controls and sanctions for non-compliance.” Instead, workable rules for daily practice are called for – in order to create more incentives for using genetic resources. Braun: “A stronger utilization of genetic resources leads to more benefit sharing. In the final analysis, this is conducive to the protection of biodiversity and favourable for emerging and developing countries. After all, the Nagoya Protocol is intended to strengthen their interests.”

The Protocol and the implementation rules lay down what needs to be observed when resorting to genetic resources from animals, plants or microorganisms for research and development purposes. This can involve much bureaucracy. A German company which obtains genetic resources from a country outside the European Union needs to make sure and document that it complies with the relevant German rules, EU rules and the rules of the provider country. However, internationally or even inside the EU such rules can differ considerably from each other.

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