RECENT INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS RELATING TO ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING, AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR SOUTH AFRICA

 

Melissa Lewis
University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Law

 

Abstract:

Despite the Convention on Biological Diversity’s recognition of state sovereignty over genetic resources and its creation of prior informed consent and benefit-sharing obligations relating to the use of such resources, the biological wealth of developing countries (including South Africa) continues to be misappropriated. As a result, developing countries have long fought for a binding international framework to govern access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits from their utilisation. In October 2010, after almost a decade of discussions and negotiations, this goal was achieved through the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (the “Nagoya Protocol”). Although the Nagoya Protocol has not yet entered into force, it was ratified by South Africa in January 2013. It is thus necessary to consider the extent to which South Africa’s bio-prospecting laws need to be amended in anticipation of the Protocol’s entry into force. The presentation will comment on this issue, as well as the potential of the Protocol to curb bio-piracy in South Africa. A brief update will also be given on continued negotiations preceding the Protocol’s entry into force on issues such as a mechanism for ensuring compliance with the Protocol and the treatment of transboundary genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

 

Presentation Topic
RECENT INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS RELATING TO ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING, AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR SOUTH AFRICA
Contact Ms Lewis:
Email Melissa Lewis