• August 18th, 2019
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Parties to the CBD strive to put in place their ABS regimes

Absalom Shigwedha

SHARM EL-SHEIKH – A total of 114 parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have ratified the convention’s Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) – which calls for the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from the commercial use of genetic resources and related traditional knowledge.

This was revealed by the senior programme officer at the Secretariat of the CBD, Valerie Normand, on Sunday at a side event on capacity building for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol held on the sidelines of the 14th Conference of the Parties to the CBD currently taking place in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

There are currently 196 parties to the CBD of which Namibia is one. Normand said so far 94 parties have established ABS national competent authorities (NCAs), 107 parties have established national focal points (NFPs) while 51 parties have established ABS check points and 300 certificates have gone through ABS clearing houses. The NCA is a government ministry under which issues of the conservation of biodiversity falls, while the NFP is a contact person who can be contacted by a company or people who, for example, want to get access to a country’s biological and genetic resources, so that procedures and guidelines are followed.

She said 89 parties have submitted progress reports for their ABS and institutional arrangements. 
Normand explained that although it is now years since the Nagoya Protocol came into force, the ratification process has been long as countries first have to put in place institutional arrangements and policy issues.

“The implementation stage is very challenging as different stakeholders involved on issues of the sustainable use of genetic resources have to be consulted. In some countries, there is also the challenge of lack of financial support,” said Normand.
She said some of the key findings of the assessment and impacts of the process have been that it has increased awareness of values, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, increased involvement of communities in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and increased requests for information on the issue of ABS.

The CBD has three objectives, which are conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from the commercial use of genetic resources and related traditional knowledge.
The Nagoya Protocol, therefore, comes as a global response towards the implementation of the CBD’s third objective. The 14th Conference of Parties to the CBD is running from November 17 – 29.

Staff Reporter
2018-11-22 09:46:23 8 months ago

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