Genetic material can be transferred from one organism to another. Both modern technology and traditional knowledge are utilized to create new products that are used in fields such as medicine, agriculture, and industry. Therefore, genetic material is an important natural resource that needs to be well-managed.
Rules have been implemented regarding the use of genetic material. They apply both nationally and internationally. These rules ensure sustainable use and equitable sharing of the benefits resulting from the utilization of genetic resources.
On this website you will find rules and guidance on this topic. In Norway, access to genetic material and traditional knowledge associated with genetic material is regulated in the Nature Diversity Act, Chapter VII. Here, there are regulations with rules about:
Be aware that other rules related to this topic may also apply. More information about this can be found further down on this website. The legislature is subject to updates and by subscribing to this website you will stay up to date.
Import and utilization of genetic material from other countries
Follow these rules to utilize genetic material in Norway that originated from another country:
- You must have consent from the authorities in the country from which the import is taking place if the country requires it. You must follow the conditions that may have been set for consent. This follows from § 60 of the Nature Diversity Act.
- The genetic material or traditional knowledge associated with genetic material must be accompanied by information about its origin. Requirements on how the information must be provided and forwarded can be found in the Regulation on the use of Genetic Material Originating in Other Countries 2.
- The regulation also requires a declaration to be submitted to the authorities. The declaration can be submitted through the website for electronic applications of the Norwegian Environment Agency.
The following is guidance on introducing and utilizing genetic resources in Norway that originated from another country:
Sampling or utilization of genetic material from nature in Norway
The Nature Diversity Act does not have regulations on this topic. However, other rules and regulations may apply for sampling and utilization of genetic material from nature in Norway. Here are some examples:
Access to and utilization of traditional knowledge related to genetic material from Norway
The interests of indigenous peoples and local communities must be looked after and respected by anyone who wishes to gain access to or utilize knowledge associated with genetic material. This can be knowledge that has been developed, transferred, and preserved by indigenous peoples or local communities. Rules on traditional knowledge related to genetic material are found in the Nature Diversity Act § 61 a.
If you wish to have access to or utilize genetic material that is unique or distinctive to indigenous peoples or local communities, or that applies to their traditional way of living, you must fulfil the requirements of consent. This is derived from the Regulation on Protection of Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Material.
Authority and roles
In Norway the responsibility of this topic is distributed in the following way:
International corporation on sampling and utilization of genetic material
The regulation on sampling and utilization of genetic material is derived from the Nagoya-protocol, under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Nagoya-protocol concerns the access to genetic resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits that arises form utilization of such resources. The protocol also looks after the interests of indigenous peoples and local communities.