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Negotiation Skills in the ABS Arena

16-19 and 21-23 May 2007, Arusha, Tanzania

Addressing a key issue of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Action Plan for ABS Capacity Building, these two trainings strengthened the negotiation skills of different stakeholder groups from East African countries.

Negotiations between different stakeholder groups play a crucial role in the development and implementation of ABS legislation and regulations. Getting to mutually agreed terms (MAT) with appropriate benefit sharing regulations is vital for successful bioprospecting cases.

Yet, practice reveals that negotiating partners are often not equally empowered at the negotiating table. In line with recommendations of the CBD Action Plan on Capacity Building for Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing, this issue was addressed by these two trainings for East African stakeholders.

Using the world’s leading negotiating concept ― the Harvard method ― participants were trained in both bilateral and complex multilateral negotiating situations in the environmental context. They were also instructed how to find constructive and sustainable solutions. Particular consideration was given to specific situations and topics taken from the ABS arena and intercultural negotiations.

Each training session was attended by 15 ABS National Focal Points and representatives from national authorities in charge of ABS, national research and development institutions, local, national and regional NGOs, international institutions and relevant private sector groups including farmers and breeders.

This training was hosted by the Tanzanian National Environment Management Council (NEMC).