Saturday, August 25, 2012

New SANBio Guidelines

The Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio), which is under the New African Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) of the African Union, has released new Traditional Knowledge and Plant Genetic Resources Guidelines. Natural Justice’s Kabir Bavikatte served as an external reviewer of the guidelines. 

From the Executive Summary, “These Guidelines were developed as a result of growing concerns of a lack of policies and laws in several SADC countries that govern the use of TK, biological resources and benefit sharing, despite the fact that these countries have signed the CBD. As a result of these concerns, the African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology in 2003 adopted an outline of a “plan of action” now known as Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA). The CPA, as well as decisions by the SADC leaders, emphasized the need to develop a framework for strengthening the capacity to harness and protect biological resources, as well as those associated with traditional knowledge, by encouraging co-operation in science and technology through harmonized policies and regulatory frameworks.” 

The guidelines include sections on Traditional Knowledge, Access and Benefit Sharing, Recognition and Protection of Farmers’ Rights, Intellectual Property Rights, Stakeholders, and Cross-Cutting Issues. The guidelines can be accessed here.

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