German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol

Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol: First Vilm ABS Dialogue – Informing about Domestic Measures for Access to Genetic Resources

Gruppenbild Foto: BfN

Vilm, 31.08.2017 Everywhere in the world, there are plants, animals and microorganisms with special characteristics that can be used for the development of various products and for the further exploration of biological diversity. Companies and other institutions wishing to use these valuable genetic resources commercially or for research purposes shall provide for a corresponding compensation in accordance with the Nagoya Protocol provided that access to the genetic resources of a country of origin is regulated by law. But which specific access rules apply in the respective countries of origin and how are they to be interpreted? To eliminate this uncertainty, an international exchange of information and experiences took place on the island of Vilm from 27 to 31 August. Representatives of international law enforcement agencies from 19 countries and five continents took part. 

"We are very pleased that for the first time since the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol, we have been able to bring together responsible international experts for the exchange of knowledge and experience. This is because more transparency in the access regulations also creates more opportunities for an advantage balancing with the resource countries. In addition, the implementation of the Nagoya protocol will in the future also contribute to a stronger international cooperation in biodiversity research, "says Prof. Beate Jessel, President of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). 

The Nagoya Protocol of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) regulates the fair sharing of benefits resulting from the use of genetic resources worldwide. Genetic resources can be, for example, plant ingredients from medicines derived from developing countries. Balancing the resulting benefits with the countries that make available the resources will also benefit biodiversity and provide an incentive to preserve them.

The BfN is the competent national authority for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. By providing information and monitoring, the BfN contributes to ensuring that German users follow the rules for access and fair compensation of other countries. However, such country-specific access rules are still difficult to find in many Nagoya Member States or are often not transparent. For example, scientists on research trips in countries with a high biodiversity often lack clear and reliable information on whether and under which conditions access to biological resources is legally possible.

To make this country-specific information more accessible, one goal of the conference was the joint creation of so-called access profiles. These will later serve as transparent instructions for users to access the resources in the respective countries and be published as a dialogue result.

Further information on the Nagoya protocol and its implementation can be found on the BfN website at