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Building African Capacity in Access and Benefit Sharing

5-9 May 2014, Tanzania

Organized and implemented by the Environmental Evaluation Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa and the ABS Capacity Development Initiative

African countries face particularly acute capacity constraints in implementing ABS at the national and regional level. On the one hand, many have very diverse and unique biologi­cal resources and rich repositories of traditional knowledge, which attract high levels of bioprospecting. On the other hand, most African countries have spiralling levels of poverty, massive development needs and limited technical capacity to deal with these problems. Regulating and managing ABS under such circumstances is clearly a substantial challenge.

This five-day training course is designed to help to overcome such constraints. The training course was originally designed by the Environmental Evaluation Unit (EEU), based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, where it was also held for the first time in January 2010. A second course was presented in Nairobi in collaboration with Strathmore University in Oc­tober 2011, followed by the third course which was held in Gaborone in February 2013. All training courses have been conducted in cooperation and with the financial support of the multi-donor ABS Capacity Development Initiative. 

This fourth course has a special focus on marine genetic resources and is tailored to participants from Anglophone coastal African countries. However also invite participants from non-coastal countries from eastern Af­rica were able to apply. The course contents has been adapted to ac­commodate ABS experiences from coastal and eastern African regions as case studies and examples.

The training comprises a mix of lectures, group and pair work, role-playing exercises, discussion, and practical sessions. A field trip complements the theoretical part of the programme.