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Access and benefit sharing agreement

Kew honours the letter and spirit of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This includes the sovereign rights of states over their own biological resources and the authority of national governments to determine access to genetic resources, subject to national legislation.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (RBG Kew) acknowledges the interests of our partners and other stakeholders, including indigenous and local communities and farmers, in biological resources and associated information.

This means that Prior Informed Consent (PIC) is obtained from appropriate authorities and stakeholders, according to national legislation, before any seed collections are made and before duplicate seed is transferred to RBG Kew.

Kew signing the ABSA for Madagascar in 2000

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew actively promotes the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources, their progeny and derivatives with the country that provided the genetic resource and with other stakeholders, as appropriate. Each project partnership is based on a legally binding Access and Benefit Sharing Agreement between RBG Kew and the partner institute and/or government.

Although the benefits from the MIllennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP) project partnerships will usually be botanical collections, associated data, seed banking expertise, staff training and other forms of capacity building, these issues are particularly pertinent in the context of possible commercialisation of genetic resources and their derivatives.

As an academic institute, RBG Kew is unlikely to be involved in commercial activities related to genetic resources. In all cases, the Access and Benefit Sharing Agreement forbids any commercial use by RBG Kew of the genetic resources transferred to it.

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