Access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing from their use (ABS) – state of implementation and research gaps

FNI Report 5/2015. Lysaker, FNI, 2015, 38 p.

Commissioned by the PBL Netherlands Environmental  Assessment Agency the report provides an international  review of the current situation in access and benefit sharing (ABS) related to genetic resources and the research needs in this field.  The report concludes that even if an international ABS regime has been in place for more than 20 years, implementation at the national level has been slow both in terms of enacting access legislation and legislation to support compliance with access legislation. A fairly large amount of bioprospecting activities have been generated but - apparently - few with a commercial intent and thus with few examples and low amounts of monetary benefits. Research on ABS has mainly been theoretical and less research has been conducted on ABS in practice. Main research gaps are: 1) Actual and potential contribution of ABS to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; 2) ABS, equity and standard setting; 3)  ABS beyond genetic resources; 4) Business approaches to ABS; 5) Mapping the value chain of genetic/biological material from its collection to an end product.