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Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Use (ABS) is integrated into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a number of ways.

With the growing general awareness on ABS and the increasing number of countries ratifying the Nagoya Protocol, the number of requests to support national ABS implementation is rising.

The ABS Initiative addresses these requests by supporting three core processes:

  • developing and revising ABS legislative and regulatory frameworks,
  • negotiating fair and equitable ABS agreements,
  • and effectively integrating IPLCs in respective negotiation processes.

Relevant stakeholders include government institutions, private businesses, research institutions, policy makers, legal experts, indigenous peoples and local communities, NGOs and regional organizations such as the African Union.

The ultimate goal is to help create enabling environments in which genetic resources and the associated traditional knowledge are utilized in a sustainable way, while ABS delivers economic and development opportunities to all relevant stakeholders.

Backed by over 15 years of experience, ABS Initiative experts share their technical knowledge, up-to-date information and best practices.

Lessons from the Initiative’s activities will directly support the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) in the implementation and further development of the Strategic Framework for Capacity-building and Development to Support the Effective Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

The Initiative draws on expertise and networks rooted in over a decade of experience with ABS. It has developed tools and approaches that are used by ABS stakeholders globally.

When the ABS Initiative started in 2006 it exclusively conducted activities in Africa. In 2012, the Initiative’s activities extended to all members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

The focus of the current phase to date is on selected African partner countries. Lessons learned will inform developments in other countries.