The ABS Business Dialogue:
The Nagoya Protocol and Green Economy – how to make it work?
Copenhagen, Denmark, June 6 & 7, 2012
The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (the Nagoya Protocol) represents a pivotal step forward for providers and users of genetic resources in North and South. The Protocol not only aims at creating fair exchange conditions, but also provides enhanced legal certainty for valuing nature in a market economic approach. Many refer to the Nagoya Protocol as the first internationally agreed and legally binding mechanism for a “Payment for Ecosystem Services” and, therefore, as a building block for a global green economy.
However, the definition of operational details of the Nagoya Protocol, its implementation and the establishment of (pilot) ABS agreements remain a challenge which can only be addressed in a close partnership of the public and the private sector.
Based on the results of the Business Dialogue held in Copenhagen in September 2010, and in the run-up to Rio+20, this second Business Dialogue aimed at sketching out realistic ways towards strategic and technical cooperation between governments and the corporate world from developing and developed countries. A timely event, as countries as well as companies all over the world are currently reviewing their practices in light of the Nagoya Protocol, and are developing new or adapting existing ABS frameworks and measures.
- What are the common expectations?
- What would enabling environments for ABS look like?
- What are the duties of governments?
- What are the responsibilities of the private sector?
- How can ABS be a test-model for a win-win green economy?
Outcome: key recommendations
All participants agreed that ABS has great potential to become a cornerstone of the Green Economy. At the end of the workshop they agreed on the following recommendations to the different sectors involved in making this happen:
Public sector – utilisers of genetic resources
- Promote the use of genetic resources to create added value in the Green Economy,
- Implement practical and effective compliance measures taking into account the diversity of uses.
- Create 'Help Desk' for ABS issues
Public sector – providers of genetic resources
- Make ABS access regulations and procedures clear, transparent and workable taking into consideration other relevant policy fields (e.g. education, climate change, biodiversity strategies, science and technology, etc.),
- Base the development of such ABS regulations and procedures on empirical experiences and be participatory (CO-construction with all the stakeholders: Business, research centres, ILCs, governmental bodies, etc.), and
- Create Help Desk for ABS issues
- Lead by example
- Identify and disseminate examples of business cases and practices relevant to different sectors
- Develop and use Codes of conduct and sector specific guidelines on ABS
- Seek investment opportunities in business derived from sustainable use of biodiversity
Development cooperation institutions
- Use ABS and Nagoya Protocol as a powerful instrument to attain sustainable development, the Aichi targets, and to put Green Economy into practice
- ABS should be integrated in all relevant development cooperation sectors in a coherent way (e.g. agriculture, trade, climate change, private sector development, food security, governance and biodiversity)
- ABS is no “one size fits all”: Ensure tailor-made solutions following local and sectoral needs for putting ABS into practice, e.g. supporting the development of national frameworks and actual ABS agreements
Participants agreed that the workshop helped to trigger and continue networking between the different stakeholders. They noted that a convergent vision was emerging amongst them. Suggestions were:
- Continue to provide updates on regulatory developments
- Put emphasis on defining scope issues,
- Engage more representatives of R&D institutions as well as from indigenous and local communities
- Work on concrete and in depth case studies as a basis for understanding ABS in practice and bridging the gap between the different stakeholders' needs and expectations.
Download the participants' presentations here.
ABS Capacity Development Initiative