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Training on ABS and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for National ABS Focal Points

8-12 April 2013, Gaborone, Botswana

ABS frameworks are intimately connected to other regulatory frameworks, such as the system for the protection of IPRs. This training familiarized National Focal Points on ABS and the opportunities and challenges they may pose, given the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol.

This training was the first in a series designed for Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone countries with the view to providing a more in-depth understanding of the interface between ABS and IPRs to all relevant stakeholders, including indigenous and local communities.

It demonstrated and explained how IPRs are linked to ABS, introduced relevant IPRs such as patents and geographical indications, explained alternative traditional knowledge protection models and provided a platform for dialogue between national focal points and other relevant stakeholders.

Participants attended lectures on the different aspects of the relationship between IPRs and ABS, engaged in constructive discussions and explored their freshly acquired expertise in practical group exercises.


All in all, their awareness and understanding of the opportunities and challenges of IPRs and their linkage to ABS was increased. Furthermore, they were familiarised with specialised ABS regimes and how they relate to the Nagoya Protocol, gained a basic understanding of the institutional landscape of intellectual property policy making and took the chance to exchange experiences on a regional level with the aim to identify and develop solutions to transboundary challenges regarding ABS and IPRs.

Thirty-six ABS national focal points, representatives of government agencies and intellectual property officers from 17 Anglophone African countries participated.

This event was hosted by the SADC Secretariat and organised by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative.