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Title The Dutch-German ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa: Linking identified problems with objectives, activities and taylor-shaped instruments

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Short title The ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa

Author(s) Drews, A. (1); al-Janabi, S. (2)

Presenting author Konrad Uebelhör (1)

Institution(s) (1) Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH; (2) GeoMedia GbR

Keywords Access; benefit-sharing; capacity development; multilateral environmental agreements;

Abstract »The fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources« is one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). ABS agreements are intended to place developing countries in a better position to profit from their genetic resources, and provide incentives for the sustainable use of their biodiversity. So far, international discussions have focused on political issues such as bioprospecting, marketing and the prevention of biopiracy. Links to poverty alleviation have not yet been addressed. Negotiations within the CBD for an international ABS regime – be it legally binding or not – must be concluded by 2010. Such a regime could provide for the development of ABS regulations at national, regional and international levels, and enhance the contribution of biodiversity to poverty alleviation.

In 2005 the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH (the latter acting on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ) have joined forces to build human and institutional capacity in developing countries to deal with the complex ABS issues. Priority region is Africa because by international comparison this is where the need is greatest: from supporting national legislative processes through fostering sub-regional co-operation to strengthening African position(s) on ABS and related issues at the relevant international negotiations under the CBD, the WTO and the WIPO. The Initiative targets these aims with an elevator approach linking the local level with UN negotiations, and using regional and sub regional activities as kick-off platforms. The Initiative is based on dialogue and participation of all stakeholders involved in ABS which include local communities, academia, administration, NGO, bi-/multilateral institutions and the private sector.

Congress Topic Capacity development

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Ref. No. 635