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Business Dialogue Forum on ABS

7-9 October 2009, Hammanskraal, South Africa

The event shed light on mutual expectations and concerns between the private and the public sector, and helped both sides better understand each other's realities and constraints with regard to the implementation of ABS.


The aim was to improve the conditions for constructive ABS negotiations by exploring perspectives, interests and options without pressure for immediate results.

Participants engaged in:

  • Promoting mutual understanding of users' and providers' realities and constraints regarding ABS
  • Debating the pros and cons of different scenarios
  • Analyzing the potential for win-win solutions
  • Identifying options for the way forward.


Forum attendees identified ideas for the way forward. For instance, they stressed the importance of certificates and confidentiality as indispensable for cooperation within the scope of ABS. They also underlined that in terms of compliance, the recourse to law can happen through the contract law. Many participants on the business side recommended flexibility of the ABS mechanism for the different sectors.

Twenty participants attended, representing different businesses and key negotiators of the African Group.

The event was organised in cooperation with the Union of Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), Phytotrade SA and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).