Negotiating the Nagoya Protocol: Indigenous Demands for Justice



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Global Environmental Politics


On October 29, 2010, following two weeks of intense negotiations, parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the Tenth Conference of Parties (COP10) in Nagoya, Japan, adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Beneªts Arising from their Utilization. Although points of contention were few, they were substantive: beyond defining what resources and knowledge would be covered under the regime, negotiations centered on determining how to fairly distribute benefits from the use of genetic resources and deciding with whom benefits would be shared. Discussions threatened to break down almost daily, as parties would not budge from their positions. Just after the deadline to complete the final negotiations passed, negotiators announced that no agreement on access and benefits sharing (ABS) could be reached. Many parties and observers left the room in frustration; delegates were overheard saying “we failed,” and news of the failure circulated rapidly throughout the conference venue.1



CBD, access and benefits sharing, rights