Genetic resources, like other biological resources, are not evenly distributed across the world.
Many of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots are found in developing countries (CI, 2016). Thus,
there are providers of genetic resources and users (CBD, 2016d).
Article 15 of the CBD — relating to access and benefit-sharing — ensures that the access to
genetic resources is enabled for users and that the benefits obtained from the use of these
resources are shared equitably with the providers (CBD,1992). ‘The Nagoya Protocol on
Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their
Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the
Convention on Biological Diversity. It provides a transparent legal framework for the effective
implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of
benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. The Nagoya Protocol will create
greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources by:
establishing more predictable conditions for access to genetic resources; helping to ensure
benefit-sharing when genetic resources leave the country providing the genetic resources; by
helping to ensure benefit-sharing, the Nagoya Protocol creates incentives to conserve and
sustainably use genetic resources, and therefore enhances the contribution of biodiversity to
development and human well-being’ (CBD, 2010d).
Target 10 was formulated to promote equitable sharing of benefits from biodiversity and includes
actions that will enact or amend legislature for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol;
develop procedures, guidelines and mechanisms for equitable benefit sharing; develop and
implement bioprospecting programmes; prepare guidelines on use of genetic resources; and
establish a mechanism to trickle down benefits to the grass-root level.