The treaty on the ‘Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization’ was signed on 20 January 2012 by Australia’s United Nations Ambassador Gary Quinlan on behalf of the Australian Government. The treaty is a product of Australia’s participation in the October 2010 Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Protocol establishes a legally-binding framework for access to genetic resources for biotechnology research and development and other research activities. It also establishes a framework to ensure compliance with the legislation of provider countries to promote the sharing of the benefits from utilising genetic resources or associated traditional knowledge.
In line with the treaty making process, Regulation Impact Statements (RIS) are required at three stages: entry into negotiation, signing of the treaty and tabling in the parliament with the final text of the treaty and the National Interest Analysis. Another RIS may be required for the domestic legislation if there is any discretion about the nature of the action to be taken to implement the treaty.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) prepared a RIS on the mandate to negotiate regarding the Protocol in October 2010 and was assessed as adequate by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR). A RIS for the signing stage of the Protocol was prepared by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and was assessed as adequate by the OBPR. The RIS for the treaty is required to be tabled with the final text of the treaty and the National Interest Analysis.