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In order to facilitate the development of ABS agreements with foreign users of genetic resources from Malawi, the Environmental Affairs Department engaged in identifying appropriate approaches for streamlining the existing research approval process under the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST). The Department also identified related collection and export permitting processes involving different government agencies.

The outcomes of a December 2012 multistakeholder workshop in Mangochi provided a sound basis for identifying the relevant gaps in the permitting process as along with required changes and amendments in the 2002 draft ABS regulation. Together with local private sector partners the ABS initiative is in dialogue with the Malawian Government in order to establish practical ABS regulatory and institutional frameworks.