Photo: NorwayUN/Marte Fløan Beisvåg.Photo: NorwayUN/Marte Fløan Beisvåg

Norway ratifies the Nagoya Protocol

Last updated: 10/2/2013 // As Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen deposited the ratification document of the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity this week, Norway took the final step towards ratification of the protocol. But in order for the protocol to enter into force, ratification by an additional 25 countries is needed.

The protocol will strengthen efforts to protect biological diversity and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It reaffirms the sovereign rights of States over their genetic resources and help to provide legal certainty for both users and providers of such resources. It also contains provisions regarding traditional knowledge.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its tenth meeting on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. Norway signed it in May 2011, and it will enter into force 90 days after the date of deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification. With Norway’s ratification it brings the total number of ratifications of the Nagoya Protocol to 25.

Marine bioprospecting is an important priority in the Government’s High North Strategy, and regulations relating to access to Norwegian genetic resources and other issues are being drawn up. The protocol will also help to ensure that Norwegian rules concerning our genetic resources will be respected abroad. The Nature Management Act already contains provisions governing the use of foreign genetic resources in Norway. This means that Norway is in the forefront in this area.

When the protocol was signed, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre said that he was pleased that the international community had succeeded in reaching the agreement on the protocol because “it regulates important environmental issues of global concern”. The Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity was back then called “the most important global environmental agreement since the turn of the millennium”.

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