National Workshop for developing Communication Strategy to enhance awareness on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 held in Chennai

03 May, 2018

Capacity building and raising awareness on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) are one of the key components of the ABS Partnership Project. A national workshop for developing ABS communication strategy was held in Chennai on 2-3rd May 2018. The two-day workshop brought together participants from different sectors including the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Boards (SBB), legal professionals, domain knowledge experts, experts from Indian institutes specialised in development communication, media professionals, representatives of companies using biological resources from India and other ABS projects in India. The workshop was aimed to identify and design an effective communication strategy on target stakeholders to speed up the effective implementation of ABS in India.

Participants at the workshop

Implementation of ABS processes requires the participation of multi-stakeholders at various levels and interventions needed for raising awareness and capacity building depends on their role. In this workshop, ten stakeholder groups who have key roles in the ABS process were identified and the workshop participants carried out detailed analyses of the current level of understanding of ABS among those target stakeholder groups. The participants also discussed ABS implementation using the selected tools highlighted in the manual "Strategic Communication for ABS – A conceptual guide and toolkit for practitioners".

Participants discussed the role of those stakeholders in steering the ABS process, their core interests, followed by the implication for communication objectives for each stakeholder group. Prospective partner organisations for developing communication and awareness materials, dissemination and more was also discussed and documented in the workshop. This workshop was designed and moderated by Ms Kathrin Heidbrink, communication expert and Mr Suhel al-Janabi, Co-Manager of ABS Capacity Development Initiative, GIZ, Germany.

Participants engaged in group work during the workshop

The outcome of this workshop will be used in developing targeted communication materials, message designs and communication channels to suit the capacity building requirement of stakeholders for effective implementation of ABS in India.

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