The Nagoya Protocol Learning Portal is your resource

This website is brought to you by a group of interdisciplinary biology researchers, anthropologists, and collections managers hoping to improve clarity and transparency about the Nagoya Protocol and International Treaty. Our goal is to help advance our understanding of biodiversity as a global community, incorporating strong ethical values and fairness, which is the intent of the protocol. We are building resources relevant to both national and international research, as well as historic and planned collections. This is not an official page of guidance, but rather, is a community of practice and a space where we can help each other approach compliance. We do not aim to serve as an authority or a liaison to a national focal point, but you’ll find resources here to help you define your questions for them.


How is the Nagoya Protocol Learning Portal relevant for you?

You may be developing your research questions and contacting prospective collaborators. You may be interested in using biological specimens or traditional knowledge in your research project. Mentors and advisors you have may not be aware of the changes in policies on how to do ethical international research and so you are smartly looking for guidance from the community at-large. 

You may be interested in what it’s like to develop a science research project. You may also be interested in science policy, environmental justice, anthropology, human rights, or biodiversity conservation. This site can help you connect with people and organizations that meet your interests. The work the Nagoya Protocol covers is some of the most urgent and critical work of our era, and there is plenty of room for you to be among the next generation of leaders.

You may have participated in making a new collection or contributing observational or intellectual data. You may have participated as a research subject in a survey. Learn the standards that data and collections are being held to and learn your rights to access and tracking a project’s sharing of benefits.

  • New collaborations
  • Fieldwork
  • New collections
  • Managing research teams
  • Managing expectations of your committee and collaborators
  • Training opportunities
  • Conferences and networking
  • Develop Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) documents considering users and providers
  • Writing reports and research papers

You manage the intake of new collections and track metadata and associated permits and documents that detail the Nagoya compliance and terms of use of a collection. You have new responsibilities since the Nagoya Protocol came to force to track the access and use of a collection. You may also be handling legacy materials and seeking retroactive compliance with the Nagoya Protocol or other policies.

You may use biological collections and associated intellectual property in creating educational content that expand the narratives of collections, and you want to make sure you are up to date on the international policies that regulate the content you work with. You may also be accessing and borrowing international collections and need to report collections use in a new way because of the Nagoya Protocol.

You likely witnessed changes in data management, where there is now more transparency and need for records to prove accountability, and longer commitments to maintaining data (20 years out for Nagoya projects!). You may need to link digital and physical samples and metadata. In addition, data standards are changing, and you want to keep up on the necessary information to curate for meeting Nagoya Protocol compliance.

  • Connect physical collections with associated information, permissions, upstream and downstream uses
  • Manage access to collections
  • Create new educational narratives 
  • Do trainings collections curation
  • Manage loans, shipments
  • Handle repatriations and other  management and ownership changes
  • Manage databases 
  • Short and long-term planning

You may be working with new protocols to carry out fieldwork or other research. The kinds of engagement activities you are responsible may have broadened because of the Nagoya Protocol, and you may be more involved in maintaining international collaborations, trainings, and outreach. You are looking for ways to excel at managing these relationships and activities.

You may have begun working with a new group of researchers and want to make sure you are aware of the framework for Nagoya Protocol compliant collaboration, and understand the diversity of ways access and benefit sharing can be enacted. Your country may be still developing their own policies, and your communication and input with the government, permitters, or foreign researchers may be key to the success of the project, and may help steer the project’s goals.

As a provider, your community may have additional policies that you communicate to the people intending to use a genetic resource or intellectual property. Maybe there is a council or additional permitting structure your community enforces. Learn how to leverage the Nagoya Protocol framework and materials to streamline workflows and improve the success of your system.

  • Develop Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) documents with providers
  • Carry out the project work
  • Broadening roles to communicate and facilitate project information and needs
  • Strengthen intellectual collaboration opportunities and networks
  • Writing reports and research papers
  • Developing products

You may have decades of materials from different research projects by you, your students, and your collaborators. You have your own method of curating these collections and their associated permissions and information. When you publish on these resources, different data repositories and journals have different standards, and you want to be prepared for changes to come down the line so you can have make the publication experience easy for your group. You also mentor people starting new projects, and need to be aware of changing in their workflow that should influence how you structure and advise their projects and plans.

You want your students to fully understand the landscape of biodiversity science and what it’s like to be a science student, researcher, or innovator. You may have heard of activities stemming from the Convention on Biological Diversity and see opportunity to use these in bioethics and biodiversity education modules in your courses, as they are pertinent to social science and natural science, and reflect the challenges of today and a lot of what’s in the news.  You may also find yourself bridging the gap between the current student research experience and the past experiences of their advisors.

  • Oversee and guide research and development projects
  • Mentor the team through development of the PIC and MAT 
  • Develop education modules
  • Host visiting researchers and students
  • Manage your own collections for research or education
  • Publish research
  • Build and maintain collaborations
  • Contribute to public databases
  • Hold responsibility for the group’s use of external research resources 
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