Exchanging genetic resources
Synonyms: Improving access to genetic resources
Context: The [Convention on Biological Diversity] (CBD) recognizes the sovereign rights of States over their natural resources and that the authority to determine access to genetic resources rests with the national governments and is subject to national legislation. Notwithstanding, it requires that each Contracting Party shall endeavour to create conditions to facilitate access to genetic resources for environmentally sound uses by other Contracting Parties and not to impose restrictions that run counter to the objectives of biodiversity conservation. Access, where granted, should be on mutually agreed terms and subject to prior informed consent of the Contracting Party providing such resources. In addition, any scientific research based on genetic resources provided by other Contracting Parties should be developed with the full participation of, and where possible in, the originating State. The results of research and development and the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of genetic resources shall be shared in a fair and equitable way with the Contracting Party providing such resources, upon mutually agreed terms.
Implementation: South Africa both depends upon genetic material from elsewhere and contains an extraordinary diversity of indigenous genetic material which has the potential to be used in a range of commercial and environmental applications. As is the case for other countries in the world, South Africa is heavily dependent upon material from elsewhere for its agriculture, horticulture, and forestry industries, as well as for the biological control of pest species and thus requires continued access to the broader genepool of genetic resources located elsewhere in the world. This requires continued coordination and cooperation with other countries.
Subjects: Resources GeneticsReform
Type Classification: D: Detailed strategies