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4th Pan-African ABS Workshop

5-10 December 2009, Cairo, Egypt

As negotiations for an international regime on ABS intensify, this workshop provided negotiators with an opportunity to prepare for the ABS Working Group 9. Representatives from other stakeholder groups joined to engage in discussions on cross-cutting issues and realities of ABS.

  • Prepare for ABS WG-9 by, in part, reflecting on the outcomes of ABS WG-8
  • Refine the region’s stance on the interlinkage between ABS and forests, Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA), and the role of indigenous and local communities in ABS;
  • Foster the development and implementation of ABS regulations at the national and local levels by drawing lessons from an Egyptian bio-prospecting case.


Besides the mutual update on ABS in the different sub-regions and countries, one main result of the workshop was the drafting of a message on ABS for the African Minister Conference in March 2010. The messages refer to the international as well as to the national level. For instance, it calls the African Ministers of Environment to take ownership of the African position in international negotiations on ABS and requests them to prioritize the harmonization of national laws and regulations as a matter of urgency.

More than 70 representatives from 35 African countries participated.

The event was hosted by the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) and organised by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa.