Press release

Access and Benefit Sharing Management Tool (ABS - MT)

October 11, 2007

During the week of Oct. 8-12, 2007 the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met in Montreal to discuss access to and benefit sharing from the use of genetic resources.

The CBD is an international agreement designed to conserve and ensure the sustainable use of biological diversity and the sharing of benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. Many of these resources are found in countries with little or no formal legislation designed to protect genetic resources. This issue is known as Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) under the CBD.

One aspect, for example, is to ensure that genetic resources, such as genetic components from plants which can be used as medicines, are properly collected and that the benefits from commercialization are shared with governments, communities and indigenous peoples located where these genetic resources originate.

At this meeting, the Swiss Government released the Access and Benefit Sharing Management Tool (ABS – MT). This guide to good practice on genetic resources, prepared by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, is designed to provide researchers and companies with a set of standards to ensure that genetic resources are accessed properly and that countries and communities receive a fair share of benefits from the use of these resources.

For more information on the ABS – MT please click here.

Or contact George Greene at

For more information about this and other IISD projects please contact Donna Huffam.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.