Egypt's Senate to discuss new law on access and sharing of biological resources

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 24 Oct 2021

The Senate – Egypt's consultative upper house – will reconvene on Sunday and Monday to discuss a new draft law that aims to protect nature and maintain the country's biological diversity.

Egypt s Senate

A report prepared by the Senate's Energy and Environment Committee said the new law is a necessary step to put into force Egypt's 2013 decision to join the Nagoya Protocol on biological diversity and access and sharing of biological and genetic resources. 

The Nagoya Protocol is an international agreement that aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. The protocol, adopted in 2010 in Nagoya, Japan and entered into force in 2014, obligates contracting parties to take measures that help conserve biological diversity in nature and prevent the extinction of rare species.  

The report said the law aims to make sure that all concerned authorities implement Egypt's obligations under the Nagoya Protocol. 

According to the report, the term "biological resources" includes animal and plant species that live inside and outside protected areas.

The draft law stipulates that those who seek to access to biological resources cannot use these resources without prior approval and licensing from the concerned authorities (the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency).

"Those who have an access to biological resources will be obliged to make sure that their activities do not lead to biodiversity loss or ecosystem degradation that might pose major risks to human survival and sustainable development," according to the draft law. 

It also stipulatess that the Ministry of Environment will form a national committee that will be in charge of observing the access and sharing of benefits arising from the use of biological resources and registering all kinds of species living in Egypt. 

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