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05 May 2014

Man and Nature Lauded for Valorizing Natural Resources.

Posted in News, Views 1537

Stakeholders pose after workshop

French Charity, Man & Nature has been lauded as a perfect example in creating links between private sectors from the North and local communities from the South in conserving and valorizing natural resources in a sustainable way.

The Charity received applause during the 8th Pan-African Access Benefit Sharing (ABS) Workshop that took place from March 10-14 in Cotonou, Benin Republic. Man and Nature's partnership with the Cameroonian NGO, the Environment & Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) was highly appreciated for valorizing the Echinops giganteus plant project; a project that has created real dynamism in the ABS implementation in Cameroon and become a reference in the country since 2012.

The workshop hosted by Benin's Ministry of Environment and organized by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative brought together more than 150 participants from 40 different countries.

Participants had an opportunity to share the progress in the ABS implementation in Africa since 2013. During the workshop, participants followed with interest the presentation of some practical cases around Africa.

During this 5-day workshop, ABS Focal Point, tradi-practitioners, representatives of private sector and NGOs shared experiences, challenges and solutions with the implementation of the ABS principle on the continent.

Since 2006, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative has convened seven Pan-African workshops, as well as numerous training courses and multi-stakeholder workshops with a regional or issue-based focus. With the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) in 2010, the Initiative has also increased its support for national implementation. This includes support for the establishment of policy, institutional and legal frameworks towards specific ABS-compliant value chains. Another field of action is the support towards the ratification of the Nagoya Protocol. At the regional level, the Initiative is supporting the process of development and validation of the African Union guidelines for coordinated implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS in Africa.

The main objectives of the workshop were therefore to update participants on international, national and regional processes related to ABS including the current draft of the AU guidelines for coordinated implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, discuss and exchange practical experiences on the elaboration of national ABS strategies, including investment and benefit-sharing policies for the strategic valorization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Participants also had the opportunity to learn about and discuss several ABS-related issues during a day of thematic sessions.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for African Negotiators to coordinate and discuss the preparation for COP 12 of the Convention of Biodiversity of the Nagoya Protocol to be held in South Korea come October 2014.

By Manuella Hugue

*Manuella Huque is the Project Manager of the Echinops giganteus ABS Project at ERuDeF. She was Man and Nature's Special Representative at this conference in Benin.