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Access and Benefit Sharing

What is Access and Benefit Sharing?

ABS stands for Access and Benefit Sharing. Access means access to genetic resources; benefit sharing stands for an equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use.

ABS in the International Treaty on plant genetic resources

The International Treaty, in force since 2004, regulates ABS for the crop sector in a multilateral system. It is excluded from the scope of the Nagoya Protocol as a special agreement.

The Nagoya Protocol on ABS

The Nagoya Protocol is a binding international agreement that provides the framework for national regulations governing access to genetic resources and the equitable sharing of benefits arising from their use.

Information for users

What must a user of genetic resources from agriculture and food in Germany observe in order to comply with the law regarding ABS?

ABS und Ex-Situ Collections

Ex-situ collections can be involved in the implementation of ABS regulations in different ways and at different levels. These are summarised here.

Digital Sequence Information

The term "digital sequence information" stands for a current debate on how to deal with information on the molecular composition of genetic resources in the context of conservation, sustainable use and Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing.

History and background information

Until the CBD came into force (1993), biological resources were widely regarded as the common heritage of humanity and were considered freely accessible to all. Then the CBD reaffirmed the sovereign right of states over their biological resources.


Marliese von den Driesch
+49 (0) 228  6845 - 3241 
E-Mail: Marliese.vondenDriesch(at)ble(dot)de

Karina Klein
+49 (0) 228  6845 - 2687

Federal Office for Agriculture
and Food
Unit 331
Deichmanns Aue 29
D-53179 Bonn