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08 April 2014

Draft Decree on ABS Re-Examined

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Participants re-examining draft decree on ABS

The German Development Cooperation(GIZ) in partnership with COMIFAC through the support project for development of national policies on ABS funded by FEM/PNUET organized a two day workshop under the framework of implementing the National Strategy of ABS adopted since august 2012.

The workshop which took place in Mbalmayo, Center Region of Cameroon brought together the Representatives of sector administration, members of the civil societies including the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), the national council for traditional chiefs, tradi-practitioners, and the team for ABS coordination from Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED). The workshop which took place from March 17-18 brought together 25 participants. The objective of the workshop was to re-examine the draft for the decree on the Access and Benefit Sharing principle (ABS), and the Memorandum of Understanding between a French enterprise and the Cameroon government (MINEPDED) concerning the access and the utilization of the Echinops giganteus roots, an ABS pilot project in Cameroon being implemented by ERuDeF.

The workshop started with an opening word from the Technical Adviser N° 1 to the Minister of Environment, Mme Prudence Galega. She explained that the ABS principle is new in most part of the world and most leaders are now giving attention to it. She called upon the participants to give required attention to the workshop so that in the nearest future, they should be proud of their work. She called on a collective participation of all the stakeholders.

On the first day, the team worked on the Decree presenting the modalities and conditions of access to Genetic Resources and fair and equitable sharing arising from their utilization, and traditional knowledge associated.

A five page document encompassing five Chapters (chapter 1: general disposition and definition, chap 2: the scope of the decree, chap 3: the prior informed consent terms and the chapter 4: the mutual agreement terms and chapter 5: final, transitory and others dispositions) was adjusted, amended and reviewed by the participants.

On the second day, the formula on how to ask for access to natural resource was reviewed.

This was later followed by the reviewing of a Memorandum of Understanding between MINEDEPD and a French enterprise.

The workshop ended with the closing remark from the National Focal Point, Mr Paloma Joel appreciating the effort of the team in all the deliberations.

A validation of the documents reviewed at this meeting will take place this April 2014 and a signature is foreseen for May 2014 when all the two parties; the French company and the Minister of Environment Nature Protection and Sustainable Development would be present.

By Alida Lea Kenmene