Making Progress with Marine Genetic Resources

Authored by: Salvatore Aricò

Routledge Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415531757
eBook ISBN: 9780203115398
Adobe ISBN: 9781136294822


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On the basis of the definition provided in article 2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which deals with use of terms, marine genetic resources can be described as material to be found in the marine environment of any living origin (plant, animal, microbial, other) containing functional units of heredity of potential or actual value (SCBD, 1992; Aricò and Salpin, 2005). The 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity expands the definition of genetic resources in the text of the CBD to also encompass marine ‘derivatives’; these, in article 2 of the Nagoya Protocol, on use of terms, are defined as naturally occurring biochemical compounds resulting from the genetic expression or metabolism of biological or genetic resources, even if they do not contain functional units of heredity (SCBD, 2011). These definitions de facto imply that, from the standpoint of the CBD and Nagoya Protocol regime, all material that contains functional units of heredity and all naturally occurring biochemical compounds to be found in the marine environment potentially fall within the category of marine genetic resources.

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