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Capacity Building on the Negotiation of MATs for Access to Genetic Resources, to Support Effective Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol 

30 November - 4 December 2015, Paramaribo, Suriname 

Hosted by the Caribbean Community Secretariat in cooperation with the  ABS Capacity Development Initiative and the Government of Suriname.

With the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol, many countries are in the process of developing new or revising existing ABS regulatory frameworks for implementing the Protocol.

In light of the central role of Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) in any functioning ABS system, understanding main elements of ABS contracts and contract law is key for the conclusion of fair and equitable ABS arrangements and long-term trustful relationships between providers and users of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.

However, practice reveals that negotiating partners are often not equally empowered to negotiate at eye level. Development of the understanding of main elements of ABS contracts as well as negotiation skills have been mentioned at many occasions as key capacity building needs.


Participants come away with a sound understanding of:

  • Key elements of ABS agreements
  • Relevant aspects of contract law
  • Negotiation skills required for concluding successful ABS agreements

Workshop Methodology

The workshop comprised presentations, films and group activities, including a wide variety of practical exercises based on real-life and fictional cases. Participants took part actively in the discussions and group work.


Up to 40 participants, including representatives of the National Focal Point agencies for the Nagoya Protocol, legal officers, and representatives of indigenous and local communities from CARICOM Member States, likely to be involved in negotiating ABS agreements.

The workshop was held in English.