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Workshop:

1st Federated States of Micronesia ABS Capacity and Policy Development Workshop

5-7 August 2013, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Contributing to the Nagoya Protocol implementation process in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), participants of this workshop conducted a stocktaking and gap analysis of existing pieces of relevant policies, legislation and administrative measures and developed elements of an ABS draft policy for FSM. Furthermore, they explored opportunities to integrate ABS capacity development for local communities into FSM’s national country programme of the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP).

Outcomes

During the three-day workshop, participants gained a comprehensive overview of ABS and related topics, including its relation to intellectual property and community rights. Based on this information and their discussions during the workshop, the group developed elements of an ABS draft policy for FSM and defined next steps to be taken for the further development of this policy.

Due to the loose federated structure of FSM it is likely that the states of Pohnpei, Yap, Chuuk and Kosrae will take some time to develop their own ABS laws. In the meantime, a central ABS policy will be critical to ensure the establishment of an ABS framework that obliges the users of FSM’s genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge to enter into ABS agreements with their rightful providers as per the laws relating to ownership of these resources in the different states.

While the elements of FSM’s ABS policy that came out of the workshop will act as a solid foundation for a full-fledged policy, more work needs to be done to flesh these elements out in order to turn them into a policy. Participants therefore recommended that the FSM’s Department of Research and Development with support from the ABS Initiative hold one more meeting with key stakeholders that will focus on drafting such a policy.

The SGP representative of FSM, along with civil society organizations, also actively participated in the workshop. He made a brief presentation informing the organizations on the SGP grants available for them to implement ABS. It is likely that some of these organizations will make grant applications to develop best practice ABS in FSM over the next year.