With the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol in 2010, an additional legal instrument under the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992), the legal landscape surrounding the access to and utilization of genetic resources will change. This is likely to impact working procedures for scientists, turning pre-existing ethics into legal obligations. The aim of this article is to inform scientists on the global access and benefit-sharing framework which has been set by the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol, focusing specifically on their application to marine genetic resources for which the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) also has relevance.
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This work was supported by the PharmaSea project funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme, and reects only the authors' views. Contract number 312184. www.pharma-sea.eu.