According to a joint note released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment, Brazil deposited, on the 4th of March, the instrument of ratification of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Derived from its Use to the Convention on Biological Diversity. With the deposit of the instrument at the UN, once a decree of the Chief Executive is published on the Official Gazette, the Nagoya Protocol can enter into force in Brazilian territory.
What is the Nagoya Protocol?
The Nagoya Protocol is an international treaty aimed at regulating access and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge. This protocol aims to complement the obligations contained in the Convention on Biological Diversity, of which Brazil was already a member.
The Nagoya Protocol was created in 2010 during COP – 10 (10th Conference of Parties members of the Convention on Biological Diversity) and aims to encourage the conservation of biodiversity and traditional knowledge through fair remuneration for the use of these assets in research, development and innovation. To this end, it establishes the guidelines for commercial relations between the country that provides genetic resources and / or associated traditional knowledge and the one that will use them, all aiming to avoid what is popularly called biopiracy – that is, the use of natural resources and / or traditional knowledge without authorization or profit sharing.
In the recent past, for example, some assets of Brazilian biodiversity, such as açaí and cupuaçu, were registered as trademarks in other countries, making it difficult for them to be exploited by Brazilian holders.
In order to guarantee the fair sharing of benefits, the Nagoya Protocol provides for a global multilateral benefit sharing mechanism, in which States that provide genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge can collect royalties from the States that use them. It is also established that the resources obtained must be used for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and the traditional communities involved.
Thus, the member countries of the Nagoya Protocol must establish local legislation to put this mechanism into practice, in addition to fulfilling several other obligations related to transparency in the sharing of benefits.
With the country's entry into the Nagoya Protocol, Brazil will finally be able to participate in the next COP and influence decisions on benefit sharing in the future.
How will Brazil be affected by the Nagoya Protocol?
Brazil already has legislation dealing with access and fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of Brazilian biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge, which is the Biodiversity Act (Law No. 13,123 / 2015). The aforementioned Act provides that access to genetic resources is subject to registration, and authorization is required for specific cases. Access to associated traditional knowledge is subject to prior informed consent.
With the adherence to the Nagoya Protocol, Brazil must also adapt its legislation to operationalize the sharing of benefits from the use of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge from other countries.