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Workshop:

9th Pan-African ABS Workshop

23-27 February 2015, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Hosted by the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute & the African Union Commission - Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology.

Background

Since 2006, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative has convened eight Pan-African ABS workshops, as well as numerous training courses and multi-stakeholder workshops with a regional or issue-based focus. Since the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) in 2010, the Initiative has increased its support for national implementation. With the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol in October 2014, the task for African governments and specifically the 24 African Parties to set up new or adapt existing national ABS regimes becomes apparent and urgent. To provide additional guidance to Africa’s governments, the ABS Initiative supported the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union Commission in developing and validating the African Union Policy Framework for the Coordinated Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation and respective African Union Guidelines for the Coordinated Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Africa. Both documents were validated by a technical experts’ workshop in August 2014. The Policy Framework will be submitted to The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to consider its adoption at the next meeting in February 2014.

Key challenges encountered in national implementation of the Nagoya Protocol beyond the legal work comprise effective and context-specific ABS strategies enabling the best possible valorisation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge as well as information and participation of i-ndigenous and local communities and all relevant stakeholder groups.

Objectives

Therefore, the main objectives of this workshop are:

  • Participants are updated on international, national and regional processes related to ABS including COP-MOP-1 of the Nagoya Protocol and the AU Policy Framework and Guidelines
  • The African ABS baseline assessment (5th Pan-African ABS Workshop 2011) is updated as basis for national needs assessments and further capacity development cooperation supporting the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol
  • Participants are informed on key elements of national ABS frameworks through thematic sessions on e.g. national ABS strategies, MAT negotiation training, institutional arrangements
  • Participants gain insights about Ethiopian ABS agreements through a field trip to G Seven Trading & Industries (using an extract from the endemic Aloe debrana to replace synthetic oils in the production of coffee sacks based on R&D with the Bahir Dar University)

The workshop will also provide an opportunity for African negotiators discuss the outcomes of COP-12 of the CBD and COP-MOP-1 of the Nagoya Protocol and to coordinate preparations for the next meetings in Mexico in 2016.

Participants

About 75 participants including ABS National Focal Points, representatives of competent national authorities for ABS, representatives of relevant regional and international (research) institutions, NGOs, indigenous and local communities, as well as representatives of the private sector involved in bio-trade and bio-prospecting.