The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) hosted a conference in Paris on November 24 and 25 which shed light on the new European Union (EU) regulation regarding Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS). ABS refers to the way in which genetic resources such as plant and animal products may be legally accessed, and how users and providers reach agreement on the fair sharing of the benefits that arise from the use of these products.
The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity concluded the Nagoya Protocol in 2010, which provides an international framework for establishing national regimes on ABS.
Featuring a panel of high-level speakers representing government agencies and the private sector, ICC’s sold-out event brought together executives and policymakers to discuss how the new regulation affects their daily operations. The two-day conference convened over 120 participants from 16 countries representing a wide variety of sectors including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, plant and animal breeding, collections and museums, as well as government representatives.
“It is very important to get to know better the new EU regulation as it may affect any professional involved in the manufacturing, development and distribution of genetic resources,” said Alicja Kozlowska, ABS policy officer of the European Commission.“The conference was a unique opportunity to throw some light on the scope of the obligations flowing from the regulation.”
The first day of the event featured an overview of the new EU ABS regulation covering topics such as scope and due diligence requirements under national and international regimes.The second day featured a program of technical workshops on tools to facilitate compliance, as well as commercialization and transactions with customers and licensees inside and outside the EU. Afternoon sessions highlighted industry best practices with panelists who shared their best practices.
ICC played an active role coordinating business participation in the Nagoya Protocol negotiations and continues to coordinate business input in the process of national implementation of the protocol.