Norwegian Experiences with ABS

In Coolsaet, Brendan, Fulya Batur, Arianna Broggiato, John Pitseys and Tom Dedeurwaerdere (eds), Implementing the Nagoya Protocol. Leiden/Boston, Brill | Nijhoff, 2015, pp. 175-193.

Norway has played a leading role in the negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its implementation and in the negotiations leading to the Nagoya Protocol. Norway has been committed to the implementation of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) since the negotiation of the CBD, and has played an important role in the negotiations leading to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources (ITPGRFA) and in the work to implement it. Despite this commitment in the international arena, Norway has not been very rapidly to implement ABS in national legislation, but was among the few countries to adopt user measures and has laws regulating access. This is largely because the government decided to incorporate rights and access to genetic resources in a more comprehensive piece of legislation, the Nature Diversity Act dealing with biodiversity-related issues as a whole. Nevertheless, Norway has achieved great more progress and has been far more progressive than any other OECD country in its implementation of user country measures with the objective of making ABS functional. Formulating the act proved a lengthy process legislators also had to deal with the highly contentious issue of compensation to landowners for restricting their use of their own land, which s a topic which has nothing to do with genetic resources issues. The main legal document regulating rights and access to genetic resources is hence the Nature Diversity Act, which came into effect in 2009.