Belarus in no hurry to join Nagoya Protocol

– Belarus is in no hurry to join the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Head of the Biological and Landscape Diversity Department of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry Natalia Minchenko told reporters on 8 February, BelTA has learned.

At present much attention is drawn to the preservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. Being party of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Belarus takes an active part in its implementation and is eager to fulfill three basic tasks: to preserve biological diversity, to promote sustainable use and access to genetic resources, to share benefits from the use of these resources.

According to Natalia Minchenko, the world has virtually found itself in a situation when the loss of biological diversity will become irreversible. The reason for it is that man does not take into account fragility and complexity of natural mechanisms. Therefore, the international regime of regulating access to genetic resources and the equitable sharing of benefits was approved taking into account the fact that every country can manufacture and consume genetic resources. “The Nagoya Protocol is the legal instrument which is aimed at fulfilling one of the primary objectives of the convention, namely the access to genetic resources and sharing of benefits,” Natalia Minchenko stressed.

Belarus considers the necessity and prospects of joining the Nagoya Protocol. “The ministry has already started the process of document’s signing. However, during its harmonization we have raised an important question regarding the benefits Belarus will get from joining the protocol and what investments our country will have to make,” Natalia Minchenko said. She stressed that the decision should be grounded.

The Nagoya Protocol plays a big role for developing countries with huge biological diversity as it guarantees that these countries will get compensation for the use of their genetic resources. Developed countries which are main consumers of genetic resources have to pay for these resources. “We try to find out what genetic resources Belarus can offer to other countries and how we can use resources of other countries,” the official said.

Genetic resources can be used for various purposes, from fundamental research to development of products. Genetic resources can be used by research institutes, universities and private companies producing pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, cosmetics.

Belarus has a huge potential for using genetic resources of flora and fauna. These include medical, aromatic, bioenergetic herbs and other plants from the collections of the Central Botanical Gardens.

The Nagoya Protocol was adopted in Japan’s Nagoya in 2010. It was signed by 92 countries and ratified by 12 countries.

The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international agreement signed on 5 June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. The document was ratified in Belarus by the resolution of the Supreme Council on 10 June 1993.
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