Brazil ratifies Nagoya Protocol, but enforcement seems unsure

Brazil ratifies Nagoya Protocol, but enforcement seems unsure
Escarlate Macaws in Brazil. Photo: Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock

After 11 years of waiting, Brazil ratified the Nagoya Protocol in March. The multilateral agreement deals with forest conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity, establishing criteria for the division of the benefits from this use. 

But, considering what government officials say in private, the country does not seem ready to comply with the provisions of the international treaty. Government agencies have yet to state, for example, who would be responsible for applying the rules. Experts criticize what they consider to be a lack of preparation and point out risks for the country, which has until May to adapt to the rules.

For Brazil, the agreement is considered important both for protecting the genetic heritage found locally — which has been sought-after by foreign laboratories for decades —, and for its dependence on land resources such as soybeans. However, even within the Agriculture Ministry, there is no clarity as to who will be responsible for dealing with matters relating to the protocol.