Methodology for developing policies and laws for access to genetic resources and benefit sharing
The project Exploring Options to Implement the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and Article 15.2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity proposed a conceptual and practical exercise to assist countries in developing their ABS policies and in a manner such that they can be more effective once implemented, and simultaneously also to aid in reviewing existing ABS policies and laws. Far from being a menu of options from which a solution may be identified and ‘picked’ or a set of alternatives or models to be chosen among, this methodology stresses the process and reasoning behind the options and alternatives identified, and aims to establish a methodology by which these options may be tested (conceptually and in practice) against social, economic, institutional, policy, scientific and legal considerations, according to each country’s specific needs and interests. The methodology has three phases, consisting of ten steps in total, which do not necessarily have to flow sequentially. It can be used in the generation of new policies or laws; alternatively, it could also be applied in the context Methodology for Developing ABS Laws of evaluating existing policies and legislation to identify where gaps, administrative burdens and transaction costs in general may be negatively affecting implementation.