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Briefing of African Delegates prior to the 6th Meeting of the ABS Working Group

18-19 January 2008, Geneva, Switzerland

Participants were briefed on issues relevant to the meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on ABS and had the opportunity to develop a common position for the upcoming negotiations.

Building on the lessons from the first preparation workshop in Montreal in 2007, this workshop was comprised of two parts:

  • Delegates were briefed about specific issues of the upcoming meeting’s agenda and had time to share experiences on ABS from across the continent;
  • Based on these outcomes, delegates developed a common African position.


A main focus of the delegates’ briefing was the different regions’ approaches to ABS in an attempt to develop a pan-African understanding of continental ABS needs.

The workshop involved presentations and discussions on the issues from the ABS WG-6 meeting agenda. An EU representative provided the African delegates a preview of the position that the EU would take at the upcoming meeting. This was used as a basis for the development of a common African position in preparation for the negotiations.

Considerable attention was also given to the recommendations developed by various stakeholders during the second Pan-African ABS workshop held in Nairobi in December 2007.


The Geneva workshop was successful. Delegates were able to develop a common African position to bring to EU negotiations. The workshop design responded to the needs of the delegates which had been expressed in Montreal, and its participants provided valuable input for the planning of future preparation workshops.

Fifty-six participants attended.

The workshop was organised by the supra-regional programme “Implementing the Biodiversity Convention”, which is being conducted by GTZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity (SCBD).