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Workshop on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT)

19-23 November 2012, Brisbane, Australia

Back-to-back with the Biodiscovery Forum the ABS Initiative organised a two day workshop on PIC and MAT.

Based on several presentations and a mapping exercise conducted with the participants, lively and constructive discussions led to the identification of specific challenges in the Pacific region:

  • Land tenure mainly based on customary rights
  • Marine tenure rights more often under state ownership
  • Ownership of genetic resources normally follows land and marine tenure rights
  • Interaction of researchers with communities and respect of customary laws key to a functioning ABS system; intermediary role of government important in this context.
  • Awareness with respect to ABS limited; need for awareness raising activities, including use of different media in local languages (e.g. videos, brochures etc.); more involvement of civil society and communities in governmental processes needed;
  • Local authorities that provide PIC for the utilization of traditional knowledge associated to genetic resources (if traditional knowledge is widely used): chiefs, healers, council of chiefs
  • Local authorities to provide PIC for the utilization of genetic resources: local/national government (for public land), land owner, chiefs, councils.

Forty representatives from governments and research institutions in the Pacific region, as well as representatives from the Caribbean and Africa.

This event was organised by the Australian Government, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Hosted by the Eskitis Institute, Griffith University