National Target

  published: 10 May 2019

Objective 6 - Promote and contribute to an equitable access to and sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources - ABS


The fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources forms the third objective of the CBD and is as important as the other two for the purpose of achieving the goal of halting biodiversity loss by 2020.
As access to GRs usually only involves taking small samples of material, its impact on biodiversity as such is relatively limited. However, respect for the ABS dispositions of the CBD and the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol once it comes into force, is of paramount importance to biodiversity as it could provide a direct incentive for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, in particular in the world’s biologically richer (but often economically poorer) countries.

Between 2004 and 2010, Belgium actively took part in the negotiations and development of a transparent International Regime on Access and Benefit-Sharing according to the mandate adopted at the 7th Conference of the Parties to the CBD. The adoption of the ABS Protocol in Nagoya at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the CBD on 30 October 2010, under the Belgian Presidency of the EU, was an essential part of the package that made this Conference a success (together with the adoption of an ambitious Strategic Plan until 2020 and of a Resource Mobilization Strategy) but it is also just the first step.

The Nagoya Protocol

In 2010, the Parties to the CBD adopted the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing arising from their utilization.

In the meantime, other instruments dealing with Access and Benefit-Sharing were also negotiated and / or entered into force, and are mutually supportive, as stated in the recitals and Article 4 of the Nagoya Protocol. Some of these are directly relevant to Belgium. For instance, Belgium ratified the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in 2007.

Belgium is bound by the relevant ABS provisions of the CBD, which provides the general framework for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, and has already taken several initiatives to implement the ABS dispositions of the CBD. This is done through its patent legislation and by developing a voluntary code of conduct to help countries comply with the requirements on Access and Benefit-Sharing for transferring microbial genetic resources (‘Micro-organisms Sustainable Use and Access Regulation International Code of Conduct, MOSAICC’). Furthermore, the Royal Botanic Garden of Belgium is a member of the International Plant Exchange Network (IPEN) programme of various EU botanic gardens for the exchange of plant material. IPEN allows participating gardens to exchange material for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the objectives of the CBD.

Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
16. Nagoya Protocol on ABS
Relevant documents and information

The stakeholders involved in the implementation of this objective are: the federal, regional and municipal authorities and institutions, the regional nature agencies, various sectors active in Research and Development (including healthcare, biotechnology…), universities, professional federations involved in the sectors concerned, the general public, TK holders, the CBD Secretariat, users of GRs, and any association working towards the same goal as the NBS.