About the agreement
In 2004, the Craig J. Venter Institute sought access to biological resources within Australia’s jurisdiction for non-commercial purposes. The Institute proposed a survey of microorganisms to better understand biodiversity, and to contribute to freely-shared global environmental economics databases.
As a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Australia is committed to the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and equitable sharing of benefits derived from its use, and has embraced the ‘Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising out of their Utilization’, which were adopted by the CBD Conference of the Parties in 2002. In doing so Australia distinguishes between commercial and non-commercial scientific research.
The Biological Resources Access Agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Craig J. Venter Institute (2004) provides access to Australian biodiversity, and ensures fair and equitable sharing of the benefits that arise from their non-commercial use. In so doing, it also includes an obligation to negotiate a commercial benefit sharing agreement should the Institute wish to commercialise its research at a later time.