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Country Visit: Vanuatu

26-27 March 2012

In March 2012, a country visit to Vanuatu was conducted by members of the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, the University of New South Wales and the ABS Initiative with a view to supporting Vanuatu in ratifying and implementing the Nagoya Protocol.

Purpose:

  • Assisting the responsible country representatives to introduce the Nagoya Protocol to key ministries;
  • Better understanding the complexities and challenges faced by Vanuatu in ratifying the Protocol and in its domestic implementation;
  • Better understanding the scope for suitable case studies based on activities undertaken in Vanuatu;
  • Gaining an appreciation of the scope of assistance Vanuatu requires to implement the Protocol

Outcomes:

Some agencies already hold a working knowledge of the Nagoya Protocol and ABS, others were hearing about it for the first time.  

Considerable internal consultation with stakeholders is required. The level of complexity in governance in Vanuatu represents a challenge and requires review and analysis, as does existing legislation and draft laws on TK and EC. Nevertheless, Vanuatu is advanced in the process and is keen to use the period before the Nagoya Protocol is coming into force to settle its own system.

This requires considerable technical assistance to be successful. As Vanuatu shares many of the challenges of other Pacific Island States, its solutions will be useful to other small island states in the Pacific.

It was agreed to prepare a stocktaking analysis of the ABS-relevant existing regulatory framework in Vanuatu with options/recommendations for domesticating the Nagoya Protocol.