UNU-IAS Pocket Guide: Access to Genetic Resources, Benefit Sharing and Bioprospecting
For several thousands of years humankind was freely using as well as exchanging biological and genetic resources around the world for betterment of life. This situation has now changed due to emergence of issues like privatization of resources and knowledge through components like intellectual property rights (IPRs) and patents. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which came into force on 29 December 1993 outlines clear principles on access to biological and genetic resources and equitable sharing of benefits from using such resources. The Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) provisions of CBD are based on the principles of prior informed consent (PIC) on access as well as use of resources with people who have such resources through a set of mutually agreed terms(MATs).