Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (10): 1292-1299.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020056

• Forum • Previous Articles    

Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in microbial research: Impact, best practices, and China’s legislative options

Xiaoyong Zhang*()   

  1. School of Law, University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 102488
  • Received:2020-02-24 Accepted:2020-04-27 Online:2020-10-20 Published:2020-10-20
  • Contact: Xiaoyong Zhang


Following the steps of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Nagoya Protocol (NP) continues to adopt a bilateral approach to regulate access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS). The approach cannot be implemented wholly in accordance with the premise and model that the CBD has presupposed. The measures being taken to implement the NP have negatively impacted microbial research and development activities. The World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) has dedicated its work to promoting the effective implementation of the CBD and the NP in microbial research, and formulated relevant code of conduct and guidelines for this purpose. In 2016, the WFCC published the TRUST Guidelines that represent sector specific ABS best practices. The TRUST Guidelines provide a range of pragmatic recommendations for in situ and ex situ access to MGRs, depositing MGRs, and benefit-sharing. In order to implement the NP, China has initiated the ABS legislative process, and the current legislation process has entered into a critical phase. The TRUST Guidelines have significant benefits for China’s ABS legislation. The legislative body may draw on different types of regulated activities and corresponding recommendations put forward by the TRUST Guidelines. Based on actual circumstances in China, the legislative body should build a set of legal rules applicable to accessing microbial genetic resources and benefit-sharing. This set of legal rules will be comprised of two groups: legal rules applicable to plant, animal and microbial genetic resources and legal rules specifically applicable to microbial genetic resources. It should be noted that the latter may be incorporated into the detailed rules for the implementation of the ABS legislation

Key words: microbial genetic resources, the Nagoya Protocol, access and benefit-sharing, culture collections, the TRUST Guidelines