Press Release: Nature Conservation

The implications of the Nagoya Protocol on the Pacific islands will be discussed during the 5 day meeting on Pacific biodiversity currently underway in Fiji. This Protocol covers the access to genetic to resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use. The Nagoya Protocol is forecast to be in force by 2015.

It ensures that balanced access to genetic resources on the basis of prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms. The Nagoya Protocol also ensures the fair and equitable sharing of benefits while taking into account the important role of traditional knowledge.

As an example, and hypothetically, if a pharmaceutical company from Switzerland discovered a plant in the Solomon Islands which could lead to a drug which cured cancer, then that company would now be obliged to share the profits arising with the country.

"The adoption of this protocol will help ensure equity and fairness in the sharing of the profits made by the developed world from the biodiversity resources of the developing world in the small island developing states. The next step is for the Pacific island countries to sign up to the Protocol when they are ready and if they agree with it," said Easter Galuvao, SPREP's Biodiversity Adviser.

The Global Environment Facility has offered financial support to assist with the early entry into force of this Protocol.