Thursday, April 1, 2010

Community Protocols in the Draft ABS Protocol

The 9th meeting of the Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) ended with a decision to hold a further meeting before the 10th Conference of the Parties to try to finalize its work of "elaborating and negotiating" an international regime on ABS. The parties agreed to negotiate on the basis of what is now being referred to as "the draft protocol on ABS" (UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/9/L2). That document contains reference to community protocols in a number of instances, including in the (draft) preamble: "Mindful that when traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources is being accessed, it is the right of indigenous and local communities, consistent with their laws, customary laws, community protocols and procedures, as applicable, to identify the rightful holders of the knowledge within their indigenous and local communities." It also states in the operative provision under "Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Resources" that "Parties shall support, as appropriate, the development by indigenous and local communities of community protocols in relation to access to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of its utilization." For a full report of the meeting, see:

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