The Nagoya Protocol and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)

Wellcome Sanger Institute Approach

The Wellcome Sanger Institute ensures that the use of genetic resources (and associated Traditional Knowledge) undertaken as part of research on site is carried out in compliance with the UK ABS legislation in response to the Nagoya Protocol, and applicable Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) legislation/measures, with support from the (Legal and) Research Governance team.

Please contact for both internal and external queries.

The Nagoya Protocol and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)

Avenue at Wikimedia Commons
Nagoya Protocol

The Nagoya Protocol is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for the effective implementation of its third objective to enable the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits that arise out of the utilisation of genetic resources (and associated Traditional Knowledge (aTK) for research and development purposes – it is based upon the principle of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) works to raise awareness of and enforce compliance with the national ABS legislation within countries from which genetic resources (aTK) may originate.

The Nagoya Protocol entered into force on 12th October 2014, was adopted by European legislation through ‘Regulation (EU) No 511/2014’ and was subsequently implemented into UK law though the Statutory Instrument ‘The Nagoya Protocol (Compliance) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018‘. Within the UK, the Protocol is regulated by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Wellcome Sanger Institute - Compliance and 'Best Practice'

Employees and associated staff of the Wellcome Sanger Institute commit to, and comply with the Institute ‘Best Practice’ (below) as recognised by the UK (DEFRA) under Article 8(1) of the retained Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 through the UK ABS legisation and agree to the following:

  • Abide by, and comply with, international and national laws, regulations and measures relating to Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)
  • If genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge is obtained from indigenous and local communities, to strive to ensure that the position of these communities is reflected in the Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT)
  • Acquire genetic resources under written agreements that substantially take the the form of Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) where applicable, provide full and clear explanations of the purpose and way in which the genetic resource will be utilised, and to record all documentation for a minimum of 20 years
  • Utilise the genetic resource only according to the terms and conditions set out in the associated permitting documentation
  • Transfer genetic resources in compliance with the terms under which those resources were acquired only, and with copies of all relevant documentation
  • Honour all agreements entered into with the provider countries

Wellcome Sanger Institute Best Practice.pdf

Use of Overseas Genetic Resources - Nagoya Protocol. Image credits: James Gathany/CDC PHIL, Toby Hudson/Wikimedia Commons, and Dave Goulding/Wellcome Sanger Institute



Compliance Enquiries

Selay Pamir, Research Governance Manager


Hayley Clissold, Policy Manager, Sanger InstituteDSI Enquiries

Hayley Clissold, Policy Manager