A literature review analysis of engagement with the Nagoya Protocol, with specific application to Africa

  • J Knight
  • E Flack-Davison
  • S Engelbrecht
  • R G Visagie
  • W Beukes
  • T Coetzee
  • M Mwale
  • D Ralefala


The 2010 Nagoya Protocol is an international framework for access and benefit sharing (ABS) of the use of genetic and biological resources, with particular focus on indigenous communities. This is especially important in Africa, where local communities have a close reliance on environmental resources and ecosystems. However, national legislation and policies commonly lag behind international agreements, and this poses challenges for legal compliance as well as practical applications. This study reviews the academic literature on the Nagoya Protocol and ABS applications, and then considers the implications of this analysis for research in Africa. Results show that there is uneven engagement with the principles of the Nagoya Protocol across different academic disciplines; local communities are sometimes sidelined in these studies; and only 8% of researchers in the literature analysed are located in Africa. Future developments should focus on ensuring national compliance with the Nagoya Protocol, and that researchers and industry work in partnership with local African communities on ABS issues.


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eISSN: 1999-7639