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유전자원과 관련이 된 국제 규범은 생물다양성협약(Convention on Biological Diversity) 과 식량농업 식물유전자원국제조약(International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture)의 두개의 규범이 있다. 이러한 국제적 규범에 따라서 종전에는 유전자원은 인류의 공동유산으로 간주되어 누구에게나 자유롭게 접근 활용이 가능하였던 것이 유전자원에 대한 국가 주권이 인정되면서 유전자원의 활용에 따라 발생하는 이익에 대하여 공정하고 균등한 분배를 해야 하는 등 유전자원에 대한 소유권 개념에 커다란 변화가 오고 있다. CBD에서는 유전자원의 접근 및 이익공유에 사전통보승인(PIC), 상호동의조건(MAT)을 명문화하여 유전자원에 접근 및 활용이 쌍자간의 협의에 의하여야 함을 의무화 하고 있다. 이와 대조적으로 IT에서는 64개의 식량농업유전자원에 대해서는 다자체제(Multilateral System)하에서 표준물질이전계약서(Standard Material Transfer Agreement)를 통하여 접근 및 활용이 가능하도록 규정 하므로써 농업용 유전자원의 원활한 접근 및 활용을 완화하는 추세이다. 이밖에도 유전자원 관련 한 국제협약으로 신품종 보호연맹(UPOV), 무역관련지식재산권 협약(TRIPS), 세계무역기구(WTO), 세계지식재산권기구(WIPO)등이 있어 유전자원의 소유권과 이들에 대한 접근에 대한 국제적 논의도 활발하게 진행이 되고 있어 유전자원을 일선에서 다루고 있는 종자은행의 과학자나 유전자원관련 정책입안자, 종묘업계나 육종가들도 시시각각으로 변화하고 있는 유전자원관련 국제정책과 규범에 대하여 충분한 지식을 가질 것이 요구된다. 우리나라도 2009년 초 정식으로 IT회원국이 됨에 따라서 다자체제하에서 각국회원국 보유 유전자원 및 국제농업연구센터 보유 유전자원에 대한 접근이 가능해졌으며 아울러 우리나라 국가연구기관 보존 유전자원에 대해서도 외국의 접근을 허용해야 하는 의무도 함께 발생하였다. 이러한 국제적 추세에 발맞추어 우리나라도 2008년 8월부터 유전자원보존관리 및 이용에 관한 국내법을 제정하여 시행하고 있으며 다른 여러 나라들도 국가수준에서의 IT 이행을 위하여 많은 노력을 기울이고 있으며 특히 다자체제 하에서의 유전자원 접근 및 이익공유 이행을 서두르고 있다.


The current international debate on legal regimes for plant genetic resources has its origins in the late 1970s and early 1980s when developing countries became concerned over the inequity of continuing the free flow of genetic resources. Two major international instruments that handle these important issues are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). The Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted in 1992, at the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro. Currently, 196 countries are parties to the CBD. The Conservation of Biological Diversity, the sustainable use of their components, and the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of the genetic resources are the objectives of the CBD. The Convention on Biological Diversity reaffirmed the sovereign rights of countries over their own biological resources and established that states have the authority to determine access to genetic resources under their jurisdiction. Under the CBD, the individual or institution seeking to collect or receive biological samples must get the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) from the national authority. The applicant and the national authority must negotiate the Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) for the use of the material and the sharing of the benefit. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was negotiated to address the outstanding issues not resolved by the CBD. The ITPGRFA entered into force on June 29, 2004 after ratification by 40 countries. The IT creates a Multilateral System (MLS) for access and benefit sharing that creates a common pool of PGRFA for research and breeding. The scope of the MLS extends to the crops and forages listed in the Annex 1 of the Treaty which are under the management and control of the government and are in the public domain. In order to make the MLS, the Treaty member countries agreed the text of a Standard Material Agreement (SMTA) to be used for all the transfers of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) within the system. The SMTA is a contract between the provider and the user of the resources. Today, scientists and other professionals dealing with plant genetic resources cannot access, develop or conserve these resources without negotiating their way through a complex set of laws and policies. There are different measures governments need to adopt to advance the implementation of these regimes. Therefore, this paper is an attempt to give genetic resources professionals and related scientists the information they need to be more sensitive to the policy and legal environment in which they do their work.


The current international debate on legal regimes for plant genetic resources has its origins in the late 1970s and early 1980s when developing countries became concerned over the inequity of continuing the free flow of genetic resources. Two major international instruments that handle these important issues are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). The Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted in 1992, at the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro. Currently, 196 countries are parties to the CBD. The Conservation of Biological Diversity, the sustainable use of their components, and the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of the genetic resources are the objectives of the CBD. The Convention on Biological Diversity reaffirmed the sovereign rights of countries over their own biological resources and established that states have the authority to determine access to genetic resources under their jurisdiction. Under the CBD, the individual or institution seeking to collect or receive biological samples must get the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) from the national authority. The applicant and the national authority must negotiate the Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) for the use of the material and the sharing of the benefit. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was negotiated to address the outstanding issues not resolved by the CBD. The ITPGRFA entered into force on June 29, 2004 after ratification by 40 countries. The IT creates a Multilateral System (MLS) for access and benefit sharing that creates a common pool of PGRFA for research and breeding. The scope of the MLS extends to the crops and forages listed in the Annex 1 of the Treaty which are under the management and control of the government and are in the public domain. In order to make the MLS, the Treaty member countries agreed the text of a Standard Material Agreement (SMTA) to be used for all the transfers of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) within the system. The SMTA is a contract between the provider and the user of the resources. Today, scientists and other professionals dealing with plant genetic resources cannot access, develop or conserve these resources without negotiating their way through a complex set of laws and policies. There are different measures governments need to adopt to advance the implementation of these regimes. Therefore, this paper is an attempt to give genetic resources professionals and related scientists the information they need to be more sensitive to the policy and legal environment in which they do their work.