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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 28(8)

Implications of the Nagoya Protocol for genome resource banks composed of biomaterials from rare and endangered species

Pierre Comizzoli A C and William V. Holt B

A Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA.
B Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, University of Sheffield, Jessop Wing, Tree Root Walk, Sheffield S10 2SF, UK.
C Corresponding author. Email: comizzolip@si.edu

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 28(8) 1145-1160 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD15429
Submitted: 21 October 2015  Accepted: 2 February 2016   Published: 24 February 2016

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The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation is a multilateral legal instrument within the Convention on Biodiversity. It has now come into force, having been signed by 92 countries, 68 of which have ratified it, but notably these do not yet include the US, China, Canada and Russia. The overarching objective of the Nagoya Protocol is to prevent the unfair commercial exploitation of a country’s biodiversity and it also protects traditional knowledge. Although the intentions seem reasonable and equitable, the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol will have major effects on the ability of researchers in both the commercial and non-commercial sectors to access genetic materials (which are widely defined and include almost every conceivable animal product, as well as whole animals) from around the world. It also places a heavy bureaucratic burden on researchers and their institutions, which must comply with an international standard and obtain an International Certificate of Compliance proving that all samples will be collected according to the terms of the Protocol. Herein we review of the unforeseen implications of the Nagoya Protocol in relation to biobanking and animal conservation.

Additional keywords: breeding, conservation biology, genetic materials, museum collections, population management, zoological parks.


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