Community Protocols for ABS


This website is a database of protocols developed by communities and other institutions to establish standards for engaging with communities regarding a number of activities. It provides various stakeholders with information, tools and resources to enable the culturally appropriate interaction between a variety of stakeholders and indigenous peoples and local communities. It also and links to the Traditional Knowledge Commons, an open source non-commercial research platform.

Communities, Community Based Organizations(CBO)and NGOs
Communities and their affiliate CBOs and NGOs who want to develop protocols have a resource, including: links to other communitiesí protocols; access to model protocols and tools to develop protocols; and links to further access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) information and technical support, where needed. Where communities develop community protocols, they can have them uploaded to the site to notify other stakeholders of the details of their protocols. Communities and their organizations can also upload model protocols, codes of conduct, guidelines or other community-related instruments. This enables communities to share their experiences and lessons learned from working with community protocols.

Commercial and non-commercial Research

Commercial and non-commercial researchers have the ability to search for communities who have developed BCPs and review: information about the customary laws and values of a community; details about their traditional leadership and representative structures; and the procedure for obtaining prior informed consent from the community relating to accessing the community’s resources or traditional knowledge. This assists in the search for communities who are clear about the terms on which they want to engage with either stakeholders, thus providing a greater degree of certainty to the research or commercial contracts.


National CBD or ABS focal points can use the website as a place to stay informed about the customary laws, values and access requirements of national and international communities. National focal points can also use the website as a monitoring tool to cross-refer whether an ABS agreement with communities that they are required to approve complies with the protocol of the community in question.

Other interested parties
This website provides a useful resource to anyone wanting to better understand community-based approaches to ensuring the continued management of their natural resources and the ethical access and use of traditional knowledge.  

Community Protocols
TK Commons
Case Studies
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