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About us

Established in 2006, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative is a multi-donor initiative that aims to support relevant stakeholders on the African continent and in the ACP countries (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) in developing and implementing national ABS regulations, in particular to ratify and implement the Nagoya Protocol on ABS.

Before the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol, the Initiative aimed at developing relevant capacities to negotiate the international ABS regime in the different international fora. With the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS in October 2010, the focus of capacity development efforts has been shifting from supporting negotiations at the international level to implementing ABS regulatory frameworks at the national level.Key to achieve these aims are the so-called "elevator" and participatory approaches that include regional and sub-regional multi-stakeholder workshops, thematic and stakeholder-focused trainings, peer-to-peer knowledge transfers, information exchange and knowledge management, technical papers and studies, best practices with the private sector, and technical consultations with relevant stakeholders and gate keepers in ABS relevant decision making processes.

With the EU becoming full member of the ABS Initiative in 2011 the regional scope of the ABS Initiative was extended to include beside Africa the Caribbean and Pacific member states of the Cotonou Agreement. As a consequence, the Initiative was again renamed into ABS Capacity Development Initiative. The EU funding contribution represents one component of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Project (BIOPAMA), whose other component on protected areas is being implemented by   IUCN and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission ( JRC). This setting provides opportunities to further study the linkages between ABS and protected areas management, specifically regarding the potential contribution to funding and commonalities with respect to local governance challenges (e.g. benefit-sharing mechanisms, co-management, prior informed consent) and to integrate relevant ABS issues in the respective capacity development activities of IUCN and JRC. With the regional expansion of the ABS Initiative considerable potential is at hand for substantial South-South exchange on ABS implementation and related issues.

The Initiative is governed by three Regional Steering Committees, composed of donor and stakeholder representatives from the respective regions. Matters concerning the ABS Initiative as a whole will be discussed and decided by a Joint Steering Committee upon demand. The same Committee also serves as a consultative body contributing to South-South exchange. The Secretariat, charged with the Initiative's implementation, is administered by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. As such, the Initiative is embedded in the ongoing activities of the Programme "Implementing the Biodiversity Convention", implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Partnerships with other donors, development agencies and multilateral organisations are established with a view to ensuring complementarities and synergies in ABS capacity development.

Being a multi-donor initiative, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative contributes to the implementation of key aspects of the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action, notably to improved donor harmonization and aid effectiveness, As a consequence, the Initiative also follows the agreed framework of the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation of December 2011. This declaration for the first time establishes an agreed framework for development cooperation that embraces traditional donors, South-South cooperators, the BRICs, CSOs and private funders. Within this global context the Initiative’s goal is to better valorise the potential for poverty alleviation at the interface of natural resource management, trade and governance.

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March 2014

10-14 MArch 2014, Cotonou, Benin

February 2014

Hosted by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Jamaica.

Organised by the...

December 2013

The Jamaica Observer and the German Embassy in Kingston reported on the 2nd Caribbean ABS Workshop,...

December 2013

11-14 December

Cape Town, South Africa