Nagoya Protocol will keep the cosmetics industry on its toes

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sustainability

The Nagoya Protocol comes into action during a time when there is an increased global awareness of biodiversity and specific aspects of the ruling will affect the cosmetics industry.

The specific areas where the protocol is likely to make the biggest impact are outlined in two of the specific objectives laid out in the ratified document that refer to fair trade and sustainability.

The first and most relevant targets to the personal care industry is objective number 16 which states,“By 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation”.

The second pertinent objective number 18 which states,“By 2020, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and their customary use of biological resources, are respected, subject to national legislation and relevant international obligations, and fully integrated and reflected in the implementation of the Convention with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, at all relevant levels​.”

Scramble to meet the protocol for some

As a result of this ruling, companies are scrambling to see how this will affect their business. However, many businesses have taken the initiative to put in place these systems before the Nagoya Protocol takes effect.

One of the most proactive and progressive companies in the cosmetics ingredients sphere is Beraca, which sources many ingredients from its domestic market of Brazil, and has already integrated sustainability concepts into all corporate activities.

The company has a biodiversity enhancement program, which was created in 2000 to ensure the traceability of Brazilian biodiversity raw materials, especially from the Amazon Rainforest.

Beraca has become the first Brazilian raw material supplier to participate and be approved as a member of the UEBT (Union for Ethical Bio Trade), reassuring the commitment to the Bio-commerce standards designed by the United Nations.

 Foundations of Nagoya go back to 1988

The foundations for the protocol were laid in 1988, when a group of experts at the United Nations started the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and fair trade of genetic resources.

At the same location in 1992, the Conference on Environmental and Development, known as the Rio Earth Summit, opened the document for signature and by mid 1993 they had accepted 168 signatures.

The Nagoya Protocol is a supplement to the CBD and provides the legal framework to implement the goals of the CBD. The mission of the Nagoya Protocol is “Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization”. To date there are 92 signatories with intention to express at a later date.

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