Access and Benefit Sharing

Commissioned by Lead Executing Agency
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) National Biodiversity Authority (NBA)
State Biodiversity Board of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.
Lead Implementing Agency Duration
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH November 2017- April 2020


India is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. With just 2.4% of the world’s land area, India’s biological richness is spread across a vast range of habitats and ecosystems supporting 7% of globally recorded species, including over 45,000 plants and 91,000 animal species. India’s rich biological heritage co-exists with over 1.2 billion people and about one sixth of the world’s livestock population. Protecting biodiversity is a national priority as it is linked to livelihoods of millions of people

As one of the leading countries, which have signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992 and further adopted the Nagoya Protocol in 2014, the Parliament of India enacted the Biological Diversity Act (BDA) in 2002. The BDA includes the “Guidelines on Access to Biological Resources and Associated Knowledge and Benefits Sharing Regulations” which cover conservation, sustainable use and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising of biological resources as well as associated knowledge occurring in India.

However, the potential of the Biodiversity Act to enter into a contract with Indian firms that use biological resources and traditional knowledge has thus far not been fully exploited. This limits the amount of profits that can flow back to the communities, which in turn could contribute to the conservation of the communities’ biodiversity and improvement of living standards.


The ABS Partnership Project aims at strengthening the capacities of the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), the State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs), Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs), as well as the capacities of the commercial user groups of biological resources and associated knowledge for the effective implementation of ABS mechanisms under the Biological Diversity Act 2002, in keeping with India's commitments under Nagoya Protocol on ABS.


To achieve the objective, the project works on the following approaches:

  • Raising awareness on access and benefit-sharing via user-friendly communication tools to enhance the understanding compliance mechanism and procedures under ABS Regulations among various stakeholders (Article 21 of Nagoya Protocol)
  • Development of ABS good practices to support the implementation of existing national regulations on ABS (Article 20 of Nagoya Protocol)
  • Development of an ABS IT-enabled system for effective monitoring of utilisation of Indian bio-resources in research and obtaining patents (Article 17 Nagoya Protocol)

The project is implemented at the national level in partnership with the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), with the three State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) in Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu, as well as the local Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs). Please visit our Where We Work section to find out more about the project sites.


  • The Implementation Agreement was signed in November 2017 between the National Biodiversity Authority and GIZ, after which the first Project Steering Committee was held in January 2018. All three states have approved the project and operationalisation plan for 2018.
  • Activities to develop an ABS communication strategy as well as to support commercial users of biological resources have taken place in the spring 2018.
  • For the development of the IT monitoring system, a scoping workshop was organised in February 2018 to clarify the requirements and the format for the IT-enabled together with the NBA.


The ABS project supports the Indian partners in achieving the SDG 15 to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity through securing fair and equitable access and benefit sharing of biological resources. The project shows various interlinkages throughout the Agenda 2030 and therefore mirrors the integrated and indivisible spirit of the SDGs in the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.Read more here.


All publications and movies of this project can be accessed via the resource section on this website, by selecting the topic “Access and Benefit Sharing”.

Meet our ABS Team on the Who We Are section and meet Our Partners.

Please visit our Where We Work section to find out more about the project sites.