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3rd Pan-African Workshop

23-28 November 2008, Antsiranana, Madagascar

Participants discussed best practices for ABS, prepared African stakeholders for the 7th meeting of the ABS Working Group under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in March 2009 and formulated guidelines for the second phase of the Initiative.

This workshop marked the transformation of what began as the Dutch-German ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa into a multi-donor initiative. It also was a major milestone in negotiating operational text for the international ABS regime.


The objectives of the workshop were to take stock of the first implementation phase (2006-2008) of ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa and provide guidance for the second phase (2009-2011).

During the workshop, participants discussed the implementation of ABS regulations at the national and local level by exchanging experiences with bioprospecting cases. They reflected on the ABS related outcomes of the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9) and prepared for relevant upcoming Ad Hoc Technical Expert Groups on ABS compliance and concepts.

Workshop attendees visited northern Madagascar to view the bioprospecting activities of the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG). This field trip provided participants insight into and first-hand experience of a long-term programme aiming to link drug discovery, biodiversity research.

The 98 participants from 33 African and five European and North American countries included private sector representatives involved in biotrade and bioprospecting, ABS National Focal Points and representatives of Competent National Authorities for ABS, negotiators in the last meeting of the ABS Working Group, relevant international institutions as well as NGOs from the local, national and regional level with practical experiences in the implementation of relevant projects and/or business initiatives.

This event was hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Water, Forests and Tourism (MEEFT) of Madagascar.