The legislative assembly of El Salvador has announced that a proposal to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization will be considered next week. Press release, Piden ratificación de Protocolo de Nagoya (Aug. 8, 2012).
The Nagoya Protocol is a is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It establishes legal framework for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources—one of the three major objectives of the CBD. It also addresses the protection of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources that are covered by the CBD and the benefits arising from its utilization.
The Salvadoran legislative body’s press release quotes Herman Rosa Chávez, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, as saying that El Salvador will benefit from the ratification of the Nagoya Protocol because it is located in a zone of “great riches of biological resources” that include a diversity of ecosystems and species. According to the minister, the Central American nation currently receives no benefit derived from the “prospecting and exploitation” of its resources, among which he specifically mentioned the use of the purple snail (caracol morado) as a pharmaceutical product. The press release also cites Edmundo Mendoza, Executive Director of the National Center for Agricultural and Forestry Technology, who said that the Protocol will facilitate transfer of technology and cooperation in sustainable development while improving research capacity. In addition, Mendoza stated that ratification of the agreement will emphasize the importance of “genetic resources for food security, public health, conservation of biological diversity, and mitigation of climate change.”