Article 12 of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing

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Until the very end of the negotiations on the Nagoya Protocol, opinions differed on whether the Protocol’s provisions on TK associated with genetic resources should be confined to one article or, instead, TK should be dealt with as a cross-cutting issue. When it was still open which position would prevail, Article 12 was thought of as the traditional knowledge provision in the Nagoya Protocol by those favoring the former approach. When eventually delegations opted for dealing with TK as a cross-cutting issue, the major regulations on TK associated with genetic resources ended up in Articles 5(5), 7, and 16. But the heading of Article 12 was not amended to reflect this change and is thus misleading. What remains in Article 12 is a number of provisions addressing various issues of tangential relevance to the core provisions on access, benefit-sharing, and compliance.

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