Provider and User of Genetic Resources

  • Valentina ColcelliEmail author


The chapter aims to define the status of a provider and a user of genetic resources under EU rules ensuring legal access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their utilization. Both a provider and a user are identified by international treaties, particularly the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Nagoya Protocol and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. To define a provider, we have to borrow the definition found in international law. Otherwise, for the whole of the European Union, the EU Regulations (EU) No 511/2014 and 2015/1866 apply, and Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 expressly defines what is meant by ‘user’.

Under the multilevel system mentioned above, a ‘provider’ is someone who ‘has the authority to grant access to genetic resources or traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources and who should be involved in the negotiation of mutually agreed terms with potential users’, because states have ‘sovereign rights to genetic resources’ (Art. 15 CBD). On the other hand, ‘users’ are natural/legal persons who utilize genetic resources or the traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources. The EU legal system creates a complex system of rights and obligations for both providers and users that complies with the Nagoya Protocol and with the constitutional principle of solidarity that underpins the entire EU legal system.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research CouncilIFAC InstituteSesto Fiorentino, FirenzeItaly

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