Article 6 of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing
Article 6 of the Nagoya Protocol is the key provision addressing access to genetic resources in the Nagoya Protocol. It stipulates the rights and obligations of providers in regulating access to genetic resources. The provision mainly builds on the various elements of Article 15 of the CBD (under Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 5) which deal with the status of genetic resources and conditions/requirements for access. It is important to note in this context that prior to the CBD, genetic resources were often regarded as freely accessible without the users’ obligation to share benefits with provider countries. The CBD changed that understanding by confirming that genetic resources lay under the territorial sovereignty of individual countries where they are found (Preamble and Articles 3 and 15(1) of the CBD). This means that States have the right to determine the rules and conditions of access to genetic resources according to their national laws including, if existent, ABS legislations.