This report examines whether it is possible for the research and use of marine genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) to follow an approach based on the system that is being used with plant genetic resources in areas within national jurisdiction, as developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization. Part IV of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture contains the multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing. In addition, the report considers the implications of relevant provisions as contained in the Law of the Sea Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Antarctic Treaty System, as well as instruments on intellectual property rights. The report concludes with an assessment of the options within existing legal frameworks for accommodating an access and benefit-sharing system for marine genetic resources originating from ABNJ, and provides suggestions to move the international debate forward.
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