Contribution of ABS Partnership Project, India, in side-events at the 14th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at Egypt

27 Nov, 2018

1. India’s side-event on insights from implementation of Access and Benefit Sharing

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH hosted a side-event at the 14th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) along with other ABS projects implemented in India, namely, UNEP-GEF Programme, Indo-Norwegian Centre for Biodiversity Law and Policy (CEBPOL), UNDP India, United Nations University, and Institute for Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) on 27 November 2018.

Dr. Sujata Arora, Advisor, MoEFCC initiated the side-event and Mr. T. Rabikumar, Secretary, NBA discussed ABS implementation in India. Insights and success stories on ABS in India were provided by the projects implemented in the country. Mr. A. Udhayan, Secretary of Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Board, Mr. M. L. Srivastava PCCF & Principal Secretary of Forests, Environment and Wildlife Management Department, Govt. of Sikkim, Dr. Pradip Sarmokadam, Member Secretary of Goa State Biodiversity Board, and Dr. Kunal Satyarthi, Member Secretary of Himachal Pradesh Biodiversity Board described their experiences in implementing ABS in India.

Dr. Sujata Arora, Advisor, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Mr. A. Udhayan, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Board

Mr. T. Rabikumar, Secretary, National Biodiversity Authority

The ABS Partnership Project, India, presented a country-level communication strategy developed for communicating ABS among various stakeholders. The side-event also launched a book titled “Regulation of Access to biological resources and benefit sharing in India – an analytical study” prepared by CEBPOL and an online course on ABS developed by United Nations University, Institute for Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS).

Drawing on the implementation experience from various initiatives, the side-event included a panel discussion on topics ranging from steps involved in establishing national ABS framework, challenges in monitoring ABS compliance etc. Mr. Matthew Dias, Programme Officer, ABS-Clearing House and Ms. Beatriz Gomez, Secretariat of the CBD, highlighted the need for a comprehensive ABS national framework with practical consideration to address the community rights or recognition to providers of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge and incorporate flexibilities for the regulators to monitor the utilisation of genetic resources and legal certainty for access to the users. They also complimented India for the proactive steps taken to issue Internationally Recognised Certificate of Compliance through the ABS-Clearing House.

Mr. Henry M. Ndengejeho, BMCC Project Coordinator, Ministry of Environment and Tourism (Namibia) spoke about the key steps that will be taken by Namibia to foster the implementation of the national ABS framework which was enacted in 2017. He also expounded on the methods they will employ to ensure that relevant producers and users are aware of the law.

Mr. Suhel al-Janabi, Co-Manager, ABS Initiative (Germany) with his experience of working in different countries on implementing national frameworks on ABS spoke about the Indian system and what lessons the world can learn from it. Mr. Gaute Voigt-Hanssen, Head of Delegation COP14, Ministry of Climate and Environment (Norway) spoke about the reasons for Norway to bilaterally support Nagoya Protocol implementation and his recommendations with reference to their experience for India. Mr. Alex Owusu Biney, UNEP GEF Portfolio Manager, focused on what are still considered major challenges towards implementation, and the future of the ABS policy in the next 5-10 years. Dr. Paul Oldham discussed establishing digital tools for monitoring utilisation of genetic resources. He is currently supporting the development of IT tool in India and Kenya through projects implemented by GIZ. Dr. Sunita Subramanian, UNU-IAS, briefed the participants on the ABS online course.

The side-event was attended by around 100 participants and very well received.

Panellists and Participants

Panellists Mr. Henry M. Ndengejeho and Mr. Suhel al-Janabi


2. Side-event on ‘Community Protocols – Lessons learned for Access and Benefit Sharing and launch of Biocultural Community Protocol Guidelines

Dr. Geetha Nayak from the Access and Benefit Sharing Partnership Project, GIZ-India, contributed in the side-event on ‘Community Protocols – Lessons learned for ABS and Launching of the Biocultural Community Protocol Guidelines’ on 26 November 2018 as a speaker. She discussed the guide on “Community Protocols for Pastoralists and Livestock Keepers” developed by the League for Pastoral People and Endogenous Livestock Development (LPP) in which she is one of the co-authors.

The guide aims to provide communities with a legal tool for livestock breeds and management systems. She highlighted the processes involved in community protocol development, and in using Community Protocol for facilitating ABS under national and international laws. The side-event was hosted by Natural Justice, in collaboration with the ABS Capacity Development Initiative, the LPP, and the Local Livestock for Empowerment Network. The side-event included discussions on: the definition of biocommerce, possible safeguards protecting community protocols, migration of communities into an area with an existing protocol and their compliance with its contents, and difficulties of developing a community protocol.