German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Access in other countries

©Leonardo Patrizi/
Collecting plants with a tweezer.

Recognising the sovereign rights of states over their natural resources, the authority to determine access to genetic resources rests with the national government (Article 15(1) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In other words, access to genetic resources is subject to the national law of the country providing the genetic resources.

Access principles

In accordance with the access and benefit sharing principles enshrined in the CBD and reaffirmed in the Nagoya Protocol, provider countries are entitled to make access to genetic resources subject to 

  • their prior informed consent (PIC) (Article 15(4) of the CBD; Article 6(1) of the Nagoya Protocol); and
  • mutually agreed terms (MAT) (Article 15(3) of the CBD; Article 5(1) of the Nagoya Protocol).

Parties are under a general obligation to give other Parties (not necessarily free of charge and unconditional) access to genetic resources (see Article 15(2) of the CBD and Article 6(3) of the Nagoya Protocol) and in particular to provide simplified measures on access for non-commercial research purposes (Article 8(a) of the Nagoya Protocol). At the same time, parties can demand fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources.

Recommendations for action

Ten steps for compliance with the obligations under Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 for users in Germany

Information on ABS abroad

To support the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol and provide transparency and legal certainty with regard to the ABS rules that apply in provider countries, an ABS Clearing House has been established. The ABS Clearing House is managed by the CBD Secretariat and primarily covers the following information:

  • Parties’ legislative, administrative and policy measures on ABS
  • Information on national focal points and competent national authorities
  • ABS permits or their equivalents
  • Model contractual clauses, codes of conduct and best practices.

The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) is additionally the point of contact and provides advice for all users and collections in Germany.

Direct your enquiries to:


Logo of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
Division I 1.3
Competent National Authority for the Nagoya Protocol
Konstantinstr. 110
D-53179 Bonn

Tel.:    +49 (0) 228 8491 1211
Fax:    +49 (0) 228 8491 1229


Competent National Authority

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
Division I 1.5
Konstantinstr. 110
D-53179 Bonn
Tel.:   +49(0)228 8491 1211
Fax:   +49(0)228 8491 1229

Booklet on Nagoya Protocol

Cover booklet on Nagoya Protocol

Flyer on Nagoya Protocol

Poster on Nagoya Protocol