Press release

Britain signs groundbreaking international wildlife treaty

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing forms part of a ten-year plan aimed at preserving nature.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Britain today signed an international treaty that will create new incentives to protect wildlife while providing developing countries with better opportunities to benefit from their own natural environments.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:

“This agreement  heralds a better deal for developing countries blessed with rich ecosystems and could pave the way for exciting, new medicinal and genetic innovations. We fought hard for a fair deal at Nagoya and we’ll shortly outline how to meet our international commitments at home through the England Biodiversity Strategy.”

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing establishes a regime under which developing countries will allow access to their genetic resources in return for a share of the benefits for their use. It forms part of a ten-year plan aimed at preserving nature agreed by world Governments in October 2010 at the Nagoya biodiversity summit.

The Protocol will enter into force 90 days after it is ratified by fifty countries. Twenty-four countries have signed to date and it is anticipated that the Protocol will enter into force before the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Hyderabad in October 2012. No Party has yet ratified.

The United Kingdom joined seven other European Union countries and the European Commission in signing the Protocol today.


The United Kingdom was joined by other signatories today from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and European Community (Commission and Hungarian Presidency together).

The 24 other countries that have signed the Nagoya Protocol to date are Algeria, Brazil, Central African Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, the Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Switzerland, Tunisia and Yemen.

Further information about the Nagoya biodiversity summit is available on the COP 10 website (Convention on Biological Diversity: tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties).

Published 23 June 2011