Prior to the commencement of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992, access to genetic resources was considered free for all humankind. Genetic resources were often taken by individuals, organizations, or industries, who make benefits from research or commercialization exclusive to the users of genetic resources. This growing concern over the monopolization of benefits led to the negotiation of an international regime on ABSwhich is known as the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) in 2010.
The legal framework of ABS was established with the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS. It entered into force after its ratification of 50 Partiesin October 2014providing for a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of the third objective of the Convention, by primarily addressing the obligations of Parties to be implemented at the national level.
In the ASEAN region, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) continues to provide capacity building to the ASEAN Members States through regional cooperation as agreed by the ACB Governing Board. ABS initiatives in the region that were co-implemented among ACB, ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Secretariat, and United Nations University were mainly financed by UNEP-GEF, UNEP-China Trust Fund, Asia-Pacific Network, and GIZ.
Programme and Development Implementation unit