Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

June 2018


The Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD) commits its 196 nation partiesto conserve biological diversity, useits components sustainably, and sharefairly and equitably the benefits fromthe utilization of genetic resources. Thelast of these objectives was further codifiedin the Convention’s Nagoya Protocol (NP),which came into effect in 2014. Althoughthese aspirations are laudable, the NP andresulting national ambitions on Access andBenefit Sharing (ABS) of genetic resourceshave generated several national regulatoryregimes fraught with unintended consequences(1). Anticipated benefits from thecommercial use of genetic resources, especiallythose that might flow to local or indigenouscommunities because of regulatedaccess to those resources, have largely beenexaggerated and not yet realized. Instead,national regulations created in anticipationof commercial benefits, particularly in manycountries that are rich in biodiversity, havecurtailed biodiversity research by in-countryscientists as well as international collaboration(1). This weakens the first and foremostobjective of the CBD—conservation of biologicaldiversity. We suggest ways that the Conferenceof the Parties (CoP) of the CBD mayproactively engage scientists to create a regulatoryenvironment conducive to advancingbiodiversity science.


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Biodiversity Commons