Global Biodiversity Framework Targets

Target 13. Fair and equitable sharing of benefits from genetic resources, digital sequence information and associated traditional knowledge

Take effective legal, policy, administrative and capacity-building measures at all levels, as appropriate, to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits that arise from the utilization of genetic resources and from digital sequence information on genetic resources, as well as traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, and facilitating appropriate access to genetic resources, and by 2030, facilitating a significant increase of the benefits shared, in accordance with applicable international access and benefit-sharing instruments.

Following are the guidance notes prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) for Target 13

The sharing of benefits that arise from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge is one of the three objectives of the Convention and a key pillar for the success of its implementation. It builds an equity dimension among countries providing and using biodiversity with the dual objective of providing incentives for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and mobilizing new resources redirected towards biodiversity. Access and benefit-sharing is included in several international instruments. Under the Convention, the framework for the implementation of its third objective is provided in Article 15. In addition, Article 8(j) contains provision to encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) created greater legal certainty, clarity and transparency for both users and providers of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. At COP 15 in December 2022, Parties agreed to develop a solution for the sharing of benefits arising from the use of digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources and established a way forward to advance the consideration of this issue under the Convention.

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, in force since June 2004, has established the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing, which facilitates exchanges of plant genetic resources for the purposes of agricultural research and breeding to contribute to sustainable agriculture and food security, by providing a transparent and reliable framework for the exchange of crop genetic resources. 

This target has two main components. First, putting in place legal, policy and administrative measures on ABS, and secondly, putting in place capacity-building measures for ABS:

  • Legal, policy and administrative measures – Parties to the different ABS-related international instruments need to take legal, policy and administrative measures to implement them. This includes the need to put the necessary institutional structures in place and to take the necessary steps to comply with their international treaty obligations at the national level and to have a fully functional ABS system. This may include, for instance, administrative measures for the issuance of permits or the functioning of the checkpoints, as applicable. This component has  quantitative (having measures in place) and a qualitative (the measures being effective) subcomponents. These measures need to help achieve a significant increase in benefit-sharing. To do that, measures need to ensure the sharing of benefits in a fair and equitable manner and facilitate appropriate access to genetic resources.
  • Capacity-building measures  There is a need to build capacity on ABS at all levels. This includes capacity-building measures for ABS for genetic resources, DSI and associated traditional knowledge. Needs and challenges to achieve the issues addressed by this target have been identified on several occasions (e.g., documents on capacity building, decision NP-3/1 on assessment and review). 

These components are further qualified as follows:

  • In accordance with applicable international access and benefit-sharing instruments – Applicable international access and benefit-sharing instruments which are relevant, or could be relevant in the future include the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction . Further the target leaves room for considering new international ABS instruments as they may be developed. For example, relevant international instruments could be developed under the World Health Organization or the World Intellectual Property Organization in the future. 
  • Actions to reach Target 13 should take into account all of the considerations for implementation identified in section C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.  
  • This target will directly support the attainment of Goal C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. It will also help to reach targets 15 and 19. Indirectly, and depending on the action taken, this target could help to address targets 4 and 9 by providing a further incentive to prevent the extinction of species and safeguard genetic diversity. Conversely, progress towards targets 1419202122 and 23 would help to reach Target 13.
  • Elements addressed by Target 13 were previously addressed under Aichi Biodiversity Target 16. However, Aichi Biodiversity Target 16 was focused on the ratification and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol and was therefore narrower in terms of the ABS instruments covered and the type of measures to be taken.
  • Elements of Target 13 are also addressed in the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, target 15.6
  • What international ABS treaties is your country a Party to? Is the country complying with all the obligations under these treaties? Are there other international treaties that the country should consider ratifying (for example the Nagoya Protocol or the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture)?
  • What legal, policy and administrative measures to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits are in place in the country? Are these measures effective (are benefits being shared)? If not, what are the underlying reasons? In what way could their effectiveness be improved?
  • What is the country’s current level of capacity for ABS for genetic resources, DSI and associated traditional knowledge? What capacity-building needs exist and in which way could they be addressed? What can your country do to support the capacity-building of others?
  • What are the opportunities and constraints experienced in developing and implementing effective legal, policy, administrative and capacity-building measures for ABS? What are the potential ecological, economic, cultural, and social benefits and costs of taking action? Who are the actors that may be affected? What can be done to get them involved and ensure that their needs are addressed?  What are the trade-offs to consider? 
  • What additional resources (financial, human technical and technological) will be required to reach the national target? What can be done to raise additional resources? What are possible sources for these resources?  

The monitoring framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework identifies the following indicators for this target:

Headline indicators:

Component indicators:

  • Number of permits or their equivalents for genetic resources (including those related to traditional knowledge) by type of permit.

Complementary indicators:

  • Total number of transfers of crop material from the Multilateral System of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) received in a country
  • Total number of permits, or their equivalent, granted for access to genetic resources
  • Total number of internationally recognized certificates of compliance published in the ABS Clearing-House
  • Number of countries that require prior informed consent that have published legislative, administrative or policy measures on access and benefit-sharing in the ABS Clearing-House 
  • Number of countries that require prior informed consent that have published information on ABS procedures in the ABS Clearing-House 
  • Number of countries that have adopted legislative, administrative and policy frameworks to ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits 
  • Estimated percentage of monetary and non-monetary benefits directed towards conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity

Note from the Secretariat: This guidance material provides an overview of the target by briefly introducing key terms, highlighting some of the implications for national target setting, and providing key points and guiding questions for consideration as part of national target-setting exercises. It also identifies the adopted indicators to monitor progress and resources that could assist with national target setting and implementation. This material should be considered a work in progress, and it will be periodically updated with inputs from Parties and partner organizations in the light of experiences with its use. This information is meant to serve as a resource that Parties and others may wish to consider as they implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. It does not replace or qualify decision 15/4 or 15/5