1. contd Structure of the Compendium
This compendium is in two parts. The first part presents the various laws and ABS measures of six countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda. This part is arranged in sections covering different components of ABS legislation and measures. The second part consists of the ABS legislation or administrative guidelines from the six countries.
The first section of the first part deals with an overview of the objectives and scope of each of the ABS legislations examined. This section aims at discerning the nature of resources covered, and what is or is not, the subject matter of the legislation and measures.
The second section of the first part examines the access components of the laws under consideration In this section we examine the procedures governing the acquisition of prior informed consent and access permits as swell overall modalities governing ABS agreements. It is worth noting that prior informed consent is a running thread in all ABS laws and measures. This section therefore examines how prior informed consent is given effect in the selected ABS laws and measures. The section is an attempt to illustrate the different steps that underlie access procedures within the selected legislations. This is ostensibly premised on the assumption that ABS processes start with access requests, which usually involve a number of pre-conditions and requirements prior to the determination of benefit sharing modalities.
The third section of the first part examines the concept of benefit sharing generally and whether in the legislation or administrative measure there is a requirement for benefits to be shared equitably. It also examines the different approaches employed in the benefit sharing process. Further, the section documents the types of benefits, which are envisaged by these laws and, where appropriate, if the laws specify who should be the beneficiaries.
The fourth section of the first part deals with broader compliance-related issues, monitoring and the enforcement of ABS arrangements. In some instances it is noted that compliance measures include the duty to report on progress of research. In other instances compliance provisions provide for the enforcement and criminalisation of certain activities relating to the illicit or unauthorized use of genetic resources and traditional knowledge.
The fifth section examines the institutional arrangements in place including the role and responsibilities of the national competent authority, the designated or issuing authorities, and that of other institutions involved in the ABS arena at the national level. The section also documents examples of inter- institutional coordination mechanisms that have been put in place in some countries. The list of institutions outlined and discussed is not exhaustive as the focus is on the actual institutions upon which specific reference is made in the legislation and administrative guidelines of the six countries. Naturally, there are other institutions that get involved in an ancillary manner. These are beyond the immediate purview of this compendium.
It is hoped that this compendium will be found useful by researchers both from provider and requesting countries, government officials, and commercial entities and students interested in gaining a better understanding the various ABS national implementation approaches in Africa.