Germany’s contribution

Supporting equitable access to genetic resources and benefit sharing

New community seedbank in Ethiopia

Regulating access to genetic resources and the just and equitable sharing of profits from using these resources (Access and Benefit Sharing, ABS) are central concerns addressed in the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity. A legally binding framework for establishing a global ABS system was created in the Nagoya Protocol adopted at the 10th Meeting of the Parties to the Convention in October 2010.

The ABS agreement is designed to benefit both developing and developed countries. The developing countries receive just compensation for their biological treasures in the form of money or services, such as technology transfer. In this way they can invest in protecting their natural resources and improve their domestic research capabilities. Developed countries receive reliable access to the resources on the basis of a valid trade agreement and are no longer open to accusations of bio-piracy.

The Nagoya agreement brings more legal and investment certainty for private industry. Clear agreements regarding access to natural goods and a just sharing of benefits contribute to securing both the quality and the availability of natural production means for the long term.

ABS Initiative

The Nagoya Protocol entered into force in October 2014. The next step calls on parties to the Protocol to develop and implement the necessary measures towards actual realisation. In order to strengthen the position of developing countries in these negotiations, the Dutch and German governments acted in 2006 to found the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa. Other donors joined them starting in 2009. The ABS Initiative provides advice, workshops and training courses to strengthen human, institutional and political capabilities in partner countries.

Financial support from the European Union enabled expansion of the ABS Initiative to include the Caribbean and Pacific regions. The Initiative is now supporting partner countries in creating the necessary parameters for implementing the agreement. It also provides space for networking and promotes knowledge exchange among players at different levels (United Nations, regions, nation states, districts and municipalities).

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