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The sharing of benefits from the genetic resources of biodiversity was the most prominent item in the debate “The Ratification of the Nagoya Protocol”, which brought together professor Bráulio Dias, from the University of Brasília (UNB), and the manager of Natura’s Regulatory area, Ana Paula Viana, in a webinar organized by the Commission for the Study of Technology Transfer and Franchising and the Biotechnology Commission of ABPI – Brazilian Intellectual Property Association, under the moderation of the coordinators of the Commissions Luiz Ricardo Marinello and Alex Gonçalves de Almeida.

In force since the end of 2014, today with the accession of 126 countries, the Protocol is a multilateral agreement accessory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, elaborated during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Eco-92). Recently, the National Congress approved Brazil’s ratification of the Protocol, which is now pending presidential sanction.

In his presentation, Professor Dias pointed out that, in comparison to more than a hundred international agreements related to existing biodiversity, the sharing of benefits was the great novelty brought by the Nagoya Protocol. For him, given that the Protocol recognizes the sovereignty of countries to decide on natural and genetic resources, national legislation should therefore prevail with regard to benefit sharing. Even so, he pointed out, there is the possibility of legal questioning, involving, for example, the issue of ownership. And he added that about half of Brazilian biodiversity and even traditional knowledge are bordering on other countries. “Eventually, a neighboring country can claim its rights and companies have to prepare for it.”

For Ana Paula, companies need to look at the issue of benefit sharing not as a problem, but as an opportunity to make the sustainable use of this system, with a view to conservation. In the case of Natura, with a presence in more than a hundred countries, he explained, the exploration of biodiversity will be linked to compliance with the rules of the Nagoya Protocol. “We are going to look at these countries strategically to define which biodiversity assets we are going to research,” he said. “Countries with more mature environmental commitments will be able to participate in the company’s strategy of developing ingredients, that is, the legal framework can define what the company will choose to make its product”.

The webinar took place on August 13th. To view the complete event, access the ABPI Channel on Youtube.