New Brazilian Biodiversity Framework

The New Brazilian Biodiversity Framework, which came into force in 2015, strengthens the Brazilian commitment in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity, treaty established by the United Nations Environment Program.

The subject raised my attention due to the paradigm shift regarding the access to genetic material in Brazil, besides representing an economic and scientific advance. New horizons arise for a new era of scientific and technological cooperation between Brazil and foreign countries.

The New Brazilian Biodiversity Framework reduces bureaucracy, increasing legal safety, aiming to facilitate and to foster R&D on Brazilian biodiversity.

What does it mean for the scientific community?

1. One of the main advantages of the New Biodiversity Framework is the unbureaucratic process to use biodiversity. Nowadays, a straightforward online register is the only requirement.

2. The new rules applied to the sharing of benefits are also more clear. In case one product results from genetic material exploration, the company or research institution will need to pass on 0.1% to 1.0% of its net annual revenue to the National Fund for Benefit Sharing. The financial resources will be used as follows:

  • Resources obtained from traditional-based knowledge will be used exclusively in favor of the holders of such traditional knowledge.
  • Resources obtained from access to genetic heritage of ex situ collections, will be partially used in benefit of these collections.

In addition, there is the possibility of compensations, such as investments in projects, capacity building and technology transfer.

This new scenario provides researchers with more legal safety, avoiding their characterization as ilegal. The access to Brazilian biodiversity material will be easier in this case.

However, a foreign company or institution will have to collaborate with a Brazilian institution to get access to Brazilian Genetic Heritage.

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   Mayra Castro, Head of Office São Paulo, swissnex Brazil