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Workshop:

2nd Federated States of Micronesia ABS Capacity and Policy Development Workshop

20-22 November 2013, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia

Supporting the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the ABS Capacity Development Initiative facilitated two national workshops in 2013. Participants of the first workshop, held in Pohnpei in August 2013, conducted a stocktaking and gap analysis of existing pieces of relevant policies, legislation and administrative measures and developed an initial draft ABS policy. This second workshop followed up on this work to further develop and finalise the elements of FSM's ABS policy.

The workshop was attended by representatives of FSM's national government and the states of Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap; the representatives of the state of Kosrae were unable to attend. The workshop was held in English.

Outcomes

The workshop was run over three days. During the first half day, participants briefly recapitulated the outcomes of the first workshop and the basic elements of ABS. On this basis, they further developed and finalised FSM's draft ABS policy during the remaining two and a half days.

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. Participants agreed that this national ABS policy must be sensitive to the powers of the states but also ensure a coordinated system that includes both the national and the state governments. They felt that an ABS policy for FSM should:

  1. be cost-efficient considering the limited human and financial resources of the national and state governments;
  2. be a clear, simple and workable System that incentivises and facilitates access to FSM's genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.

At the end of the Workshop, participants had finalised an 'Interim ABS Policy for FSM' which, in its structure, integrates the strengths of both a centralised and a federal approach.

It was agreed that participants would discuss the 'Interim ABS Policy for FSM' with their respective departments and colleagues. They expected the Interim policy to come into force by March 2014 and hoped that it would be adopted by the FSM Congress as an official ABS Policy for FSM by mid-2015.