Development of Part 8A EPBC Regulations
Part 8A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 provides a legislative framework for biodiscovery to demonstrate legal provenance of biological discoveries and provide investors in the industry confidence and security when committing to large and sustained investment in research and development. Similar legislation has been introduced, or is being developed, by Australia's State and Territory governments.
The regulations apply to the taking of biological resources of native species in Commonwealth areas for research and development on any genetic resources, or biochemical compounds, comprising or contained in the biological resources. The regulations do not apply to the taking of resources for any other purpose.
Activities excluded from regulation include, amongst many other things, fishing for commerce or recreation, taking essential oils from plants or taking wild animals or plants for food. A full list of exempted activities is provided in sections 8A.03(3) and (4) of the EPBC Regulations.
The Regulations represent the culmination of detailed policy development and a broad consultation process. Some of the major milestones in this process were:
- Voumard Inquiry - Commonwealth Public Inquiry into Access to Biological Resources in Commonwealth Areas
- Section 301 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
- Nationally Consistent Approach (NCA) for Access to and the Utilisation of Australia's Native Genetic and Biochemical Resources - 2002
- Understanding the NCA