Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back to the Future (of ABS)

On the first day of the 9th meeting of the Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing held in Cali, Colombia, parties made opening statements and began work on how to organize the week's negotiations. On the side of the negotiations, Balakrishna Pisupati (UNEP-DELC) presented at a UNEP-UNU-hosted side event. The side event focused on the development of the next 10-year Strategic Plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). He presented the outcomes of a meeting held in December 2009 that focused on revising the CBD's Strategic Plan. He illustrated how the old Target 17 that stated, "Access to genetic resources is enhanced and substantial benefits are shared consistent with the International Regime on ABS" was suggested to be revised to read: "By 2020, to have accelerated and widened the importance of a transparent ABS framework in accordance with the IRABS and to have enhanced awareness about equitable benefit sharing arising out of the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge that supports the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity." Natural Justice made an intervention, arguing that if this revised target can be read as the future ABS Protocol's aim, then the text of the protocol should better integrate conservation and sustainable use (draft Article 7) and traditional knowledge (draft Article 9). For more information on the negotiations, please see:

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