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Panafrican Workshop:

ABS and Forests

22-25 June 2009, Nairobi, Kenya

Participants identified aspects of forest governance that may support ABS processes along with the potential benefits of including ABS into forest governance, at both the national and international levels.

Forests harbour the large majority of Africa’s terrestrial genetic resources. Forest governance and Access and Benefit Sharing complement each other in terms of forest management and management financing.

However, forests fall into separate categories of land tenure (notably private, communal, open access, and state), resulting in different land tenure systems. So far, existing forest regulations address non-timber forest products as commodities in trade and not as ABS-eligible genetic resources. Land tenure systems therefore require special consideration for designing appropriate and practical ABS schemes.


  • Identify aspects of national and international forest governance that may support ABS processes
  • Identify potential benefits of considering ABS for the sustainable governance of forests
  • Identify interfaces and linkages between forest governance and ABS at the national and international levels.


Participants came up with rrecommendations on integrating ABS into forest governance in preparation for the SCC Conference on Sustainable Forest Management and the World Forestry Congress. They also developed an outline of responsibilities at the national level for linking ABS and forest processes.

The 90 participants included ABS Focal Points, experts and national forest administrators, representatives of relevant regional and international research institutions, NGOs and indigenous and local communities.

This event was hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and organised in cooperation with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the Kenya Forest Service (KFS).