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Workshop:

7th Pan-African Workshop on ABS

25 February–1 March 2013, Phalaborwa, South Africa

Representatives of governments, donors and other relevant stakeholders of the ABS Initiative reviewed the draft AU Guidelines on ABS and discussed the issue of documenting traditional knowledge. Linkages between Nagoya Protocol and other instruments and topics were addressed.

Following the results of the 6th pan-African workshop the Initiative supported the African Union Commission in developing practical guidelines for a more homogenous and effective implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Africa (AU Guidelines).

The draft of these AU Guidelines and the milestones of its development were presented to the participants. In group discussions, reflections and comments on the draft were collected and key practical issues related to ABS implementation were addressed, developing further recommendations for the document.

Another crucial part of the workshop agenda was dedicated to the issue of traditional knowledge. During one day, participants discussed ways and means of documenting traditional knowledge and visited a community-based project demonstrating successful benefit sharing of scientific innovation and traditional knowledge.

Outcome

The workshop enhanced participant understanding of the content and aims of the AU Guidelines, of the interface of the Nagoya Protocol and other international instruments, of strategies and challenges of the national implementation of ABS and of the relevance of traditional knowledge in ABS. Also, members of the African Group took the chance to further coordinate their work and start preparing for future Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meetings.

One hundred and thirty representatives from more than 30 African countries participated in this workshop: ABS National Focal Points, indigenous and local communities, representatives of national authorities, NGOs, research institutions, international organisations and private sector.

The event was hosted and co-organised by the Department for Environment al Affairs jointly with the ABS Capacity Development Initiative.