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Governments Make Major Advances on Global Agreement on Planet's Genetic Resources

Montreal, 16 July 2010 Following seven days of intense and complex negotiations, and with the financial support of Japan , the world's governments have made major breakthroughs on a text of a legally binding protocol on access to, and sharing of, the benefits of the rich genetic resources of our planet.

The draft Aichi Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) is now in place, and will be finalized and adopted on 29 October 2010 at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

"History will recall that the Aichi Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing was born here in Montreal. Once again, the Montreal magic has worked for delivering one of the most important legal instruments in the history of the environment movement," said Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention.

The two Co-Chairs of the Working Group, Timothy Hodges of Canada and Fernando Casas of Colombia, said: "In Montreal, we witnessed a major breakthrough in the negotiations. Progress on key issues is a giant leap toward the objective of finalizing the Protocol. While much remains to be done, we are more confident than ever that the ABS Protocol will be adopted in Nagoya, next October."

Discussions during the week focused on the draft protocol text that was tabled at the beginning of the ninth meeting of the working group, which took place in Cali, Colombia, in March this year. Following this week's negotiations in Montreal, the structure of this text remains intact and consensus was reached on important elements including compliance, and user measures.

Access and benefit-sharing refers to the way genetic resources?whether plant, animal or micro-organism?are accessed in countries of origin, and how the benefits that result from their use by various research institutes, universities or private companies are shared with the people or countries that provide them. Ensuring the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources is one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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