MGR User Toolkit



The PharmaSea MGR User Toolkit will support the lawful and sustainable use of marine genetic resources (MGR) within European marine biotechnology.

Marine biotechnology R&D often depends upon access to marine organisms, collectively termed marine genetic resources (MGR). Scientists, familiar with the potential challenges of collecting MGR samples in the marine environment, are often less aware of the legal and policy frameworks governing access to MGR. The applicable regimes governing MGR sampling and utilization vary depending on where in the marine environment samples are taken or for what purpose they will be used. Certain obligations also extend to accessing samples  from ex-situ collections depending on the applicable laws in the State from whose jurisdiction the samples were originally sourced.


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Nagoya Protocol, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are of particular relevance with  regard to sampling and use of MGR. It is important that scientists are aware of the distinct regimes governing access to MGR under both the CBD and its Nagoya Protocol on the one hand, and under the UNCLOS on the other hand. Compliance with the provisions a State may have in place under the UNCLOS does not ensure compliance with national ABS regime under the CBD and its Nagoya Protocol, and vice versa.

The MGR User toolkit will explain the background to these regimes and provide practical guidelines explaining, in simple terms, how to source MGR lawfully and will provide the necessary resources to support this.