FAQs | Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House
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ABSCH Knowledge base

Frequently asked questions (57)

Are Parties required by the Protocol to have a national ABS Clearing-House?

Developing a national ABS Clearing-House is not a requirement of the Protocol. However, if a country decides to build a national ABS Clearing-House, please keep in mind:

  • The ABS Clearing-House is designed to be interoperable with other databases and systems, in particular Parties’ databases, as well as databases of other instruments and organizations.
  • The application programming interface (API), is the main mechanism to implement interoperability,  and is meant to allow the seamless integration of the data and functions of the ABS Clearing-House into other systems in ways that best fit their own needs, workflows and technologies.
  • The API can be used to help avoid duplication in the submission of information to the ABS Clearing-House and, at the same time, create national or regional information systems that are fully compatible and streamlined with the ABS Clearing-House and obligation of the Protocol.
What if the provider country of genetic resources is not Party to the Nagoya Protocol and the invention is developed in a user country that is Party to the Protocol?

Users of genetic resources need to make sure that their activities comply with national ABS legislation. Many countries, for instance, have measures in place to ensure that users of genetic resources within its jurisdiction comply with the ABS requirements of countries providing the genetic resources.  In this regard, you may wish to contact your ABS National Focal Point for more information. You can find all relevant information and contact in the country profile of the ABS Clearing-House : https://absch.cbd.int/countries/

For the ABS permit, should I apply to the provider country or the country where the genetic resources are being utilized?

In principle an ABS permit is granted by the country where the genetic resources are accessed as evidence that the ABS requirements of the provider country have been met, however it is preferable to refer to the specific requirements of the provider country and the country where the genetic resources are being utilized to determine what are the procedures to follow in a particular case

To get more information on how to obtain a certificate for access to a genetic resource from the provider country, we encourage you to contact their ABS National Focal Point.  You can find the contact details of the ABS National Focal Point as well as information on the ABS legislation in the country profile: https://absch.cbd.int/countries/.

Where and how can I compare information submitted by countries through their interim national reports?

The national report analyzer is a tool that allows you to select specific sections or questions of the report and to display the results by country/region. Users can target the analysis based on sections of the report by using the filter options. 

In addition, an analysis of the interim national reports submitted by Parties was done by the Secretariat and is available for your reference at: https://www.cbd.int/doc/c/767b/a3b0/e4934613a1a3fd1116b1c89a/sbi-02-inf-03-en.pdf.  

Please note, however, that since the publication of the report, several other countries have submitted information. 

I am an academic based in a country that is Party to the Nagoya Protocol and who, for research purposes, wishes to access genetic resources in a foreign country that is not Party to the Protocol. What are my obligations?

Regardless of whether a country is a Party to the Nagoya Protocol, users of genetic resources must comply with the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) requirements of the country providing the genetic resource.  Although a country may not yet be Party to the Nagoya Protocol, they may have relevant ABS measures in place in accordance with Article 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.  As a researcher you are encouraged to contact the ABS National Focal Point in that country to find more information on whether the activity falls within the scope of their ABS measure and to understand the requirements that would apply to the specific case.  The contact details of the National Focal Point as well as information on each country’s ABS legislation are available in the country profile page on the ABS Clearing-House: https://absch.cbd.int/countries/.

In addition, researchers in academic institutions that are based in countries that are party to the Nagoya Protocol should make sure that their activities comply with local ABS legislation. The host country may, for instance, have measures in place to ensure that users of genetic resources within its jurisdiction comply with the ABS requirements of countries providing the genetic resources.  In this regard, researchers are also encouraged to contact their national focal point for more information. You can find all relevant information in the country profile: https://absch.cbd.int/countries/

Is there a fee to become a Party to the Nagoya Protocol?

Parties to the Convention and the Protocols are required to pay annual assessed contributions, which are based on the UN scale of assessment.  The contribution is not a fixed amount, it depends on the country's scale of assessment, date it becomes party and the budget amount. The budget is approved at every COP.

In accordance with Article 26 of the Nagoya Protocol, the financial rules of the Convention apply, as appropriate, to the Protocol. Under the financial rules of the Convention, every Party to the Convention is required to make an annual contribution to cover the costs of the administration of the Convention, including the functions of the Secretariat. The scale for assessing the levels of contributions that each Party is to pay is based on the United Nations scale of assessment for the apportionment of the expenses of the Organization. Contributions by developing country Parties, in particular the least developed ones, are relatively small and usually nominal. In fact, as far as the least developed country Parties are concerned, they are not, as a rule, required to pay more than 0.01 per cent of the total budget approved for any budget year.

 It should be noted that, according to Article 28 of the Protocol, the Secretariat of the Convention serves also as the Secretariat to the Protocol. The costs of the Secretariat services for the Protocol, to the extent that they are distinct from those to the Convention, shall be met by the Parties to the Protocol.

What are the benefits of becoming a Party to the Protocol?

Becoming a Party to the Protocol presents a number of benefits, such as the following:

  • Influence on the implementation of the Protocol and shaping of its further development through participation in the decision-making processes of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol;
  • For developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition, eligibility for financial support from the Global Environment Facility (the financial mechanism for the Protocol) for capacity-building, as well as other support for implementation of the Protocol and participation in its processes; (see Decision COP VII/20)
  • Enhanced visibility and credibility of national systems for ABS within the global community;
  • Contribution to harmonized rules, procedures and practices;
  • Facilitation of mechanisms and opportunities for governments to collaborate with other governments, the private sector and civil society;
  • Improved access to relevant technologies and data, and benefiting from a regular exchange of information and expertise; and
  • Demonstration of commitment to access and benefit-sharing, conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
How can I receive notifications when certain records are published?

Account holders can subscribe to receive automatic notifications/updates when records in certain categories, selected by the users, are published in the Clearing-House. 

Users can do so by using the Preferences tab accessible through the Submit interface. The Preferences tab functions exactly the same way as “My saved searches” feature (in Search). It allows users to store search filter selections to their user profile and receive immediate e-mail notifications when new records that match the specified criteria are published. For example, users may wish to be notified every time a decision or a risk assessment record is published by specific countries or regions.

Important Note: At the moment, e-mail notifications only respond to the Global filters that are saved. That means that when new records are published, the e-mail notification will be executed based on the specified Global filters only. Sub-filters, if selected, will not be included in the query (this is temporary).


To SET UP your e-mail notification preferences:

  1. On the Submit page, click on the Preferences tab.
  2. Click on the Add new button.
  3. In the window that opens:

- Type the title of you search.

- In Search, select the global filters of interest.

- Check the“ Send me an email when records relevant to this search are added or updated”

        4. Click on the Save button.


To EDIT your e-mail notification preferences:

  1. Click on the Edit icon/button of the respective search.
  2. In the window that opens: edit your selections (title, filters, receipt of e-mail notifications when records relevant to this search are added or updated).
  3. Click on the Save button.

NOTE: to stop receiving updates  by e-mail, you can also simply deselect Email me check box. To delete the saved ‘preferences’, click on the Delete icon/button.


TIP: If you have already used “My saved searches” feature on the Search page, your saved searches will automatically be displayed in the Preferences tab. Both, the Preferences tab and “My saved searches”, function exactly the same and saved searches, once defined and saved, are shown in both places automatically.

How do I save my searches?

“My saved searches” feature, available on the Search page, allows users to store search filter selections to their user preferences and receive immediate e-mail notifications when new records that match the specified criteria are published.

Important Note: At the moment, e-mail notifications only respond to the Global filters that are saved. That means that when new records are published, the e-mail notification will be executed based on the specified Global filters only. Sub-filters, if selected, will not be included in the query (this is temporary).


To SAVE your search results:

  1. Select your Global filters and then click on the Save this search button.
  2. In the window that opens, type the title of your search.
  3. Optional: check the“ Send me an email when records relevant to this search are added or updated”
  4. Click on the Save button.

Another way:

  1. On the Search page, click on “My saved searches” and then click on the Add new button. 
  2. In the window that opens:

- Type the title of you search.

- In Search, select the global filters of interest.

- Optional: check the“ Send me an email when records relevant to this search are added or updated”

        3. Click on the Save button.

NOTE: to run and quickly access your saved search, click on the Search icon/button (which you see once you click on "My saved searches”) for the respective saved search .


To EDIT your searches:

  1. On the Search page, click on “My saved searches”.
  2. Click on the Edit icon/button of the respective search.
  3. In the window that opens: edit your selections (title, filters, receipt of e-mail notifications when records relevant to this search are added or updated).
  4. Click on the Save button.

NOTE: to stop receiving updates  by e-mail, simply deselect Email me check box. To delete the saved search, click on the Delete icon/button.


TIP: If you have already used the Preferences tab on the Submit page to set up you e-mail notifications, these ‘preferences' will also be displayed in “My saved searches” section on the Search page. Both, the Preferences tab and “My saved searches”, function exactly the same and saved searches, once defined and saved, are shown in both places automatically.

Where can I find information on National Reports?

National Reports can be found:

  • On the Search page.

                   --OR--

  • On the National Report Analyzer page. On the top navigation bar, click on Search and then on “National Report Analyzer”. The National Report Analyzer tool allows users to perform various analyses of the information contained in the reports. You can open the report from the National Report Analyzer. To do so:
    1. In “National Report” drop down list, select the report of interest.
    2. In “Geographical areas” drop down list, select “Select countries”.
    3. Click on the country(ies) of interest, and then click on the Close button.
    4. Click on the Analyze button. An analysis report will appear.
    5. In the column to the right, click on the country name and then on the country code (for example: click on Belarus and then on BY). The report will open.
Contact us

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

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Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 1N9
Canada

Tel.: +1 514 288 2220
Fax: +1 514 288 6588
E-mail: bch@cbd.int  / absch@cbd.int