Some sectors have not waited for the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol and over the past ten years have established voluntary codes of conduct and standardised access and benefit-sharing procedures. Here are two examples.
The International Plant Exchange Network (IPEN)
IPEN is an international network of botanical gardens. The members have adopted a common policy (Code of Conduct) for access and benefit-sharing. This policy covers the following aspects:
• Transfer of living plant material from the country of origin at the Botanical Garden,
• Exchange of plant material between member botanical gardens of the network,
• Non- monetary benefit-sharing for non-commercial uses (basic research). It includes actions such as knowledge transfer, technical support, joint publications, etc.
The transfer and exchange of plant material within the IPEN is valid only for non-commercial purposes. When business objectives are targeted, specific agreements between the provider countries and users are required. Similarly, when exchanges involve non-member institutions of the network, the Code of Conduct provides the use of a Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA).
Through this code of conduct, exchanges of living plant material are thereby facilitated among the network members and they undertake to respect the provisions of the CBD and CITES. Such a system, transparent and light from an administrative viewpoint, primarily aims to create a climate of trust with the provider countries and thus facilitate access to genetic resources located in these countries.
Micro-Organisms Sustainable use and Access regulation International Code of Conduct (MOSAICC)
MOSAICC is a voluntary code of conduct for collections of micro-organisms and is the result of a project launched for the first time in 1997 by the BCCM (Belgian Coordinated Collections of Micro-Organisms). It aims to facilitate access to microbial genetic resources, in accordance with the obligations of the CBD and other applicable national and international regulations. It also ensures the transfer of material under specific agreements between partners.
This dual objective is implemented through two basic principles:
• The in-situ origin of microbial genetic resources is identified through a PIC (Prior Informed Consent) procedure providing permission to collect samples. Thein-situ origin of micro-organisms is always mentioned when transferring to other partners.
• The transfer of microbial genetic resources is monitored and systematically occurs under a material transfer agreement defined between the provider and the user.