Ministry of Climate change organized a three day national capacity building and implementation workshop with the collaboration of GIZ on access to genetic resources and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use (ABS) and Nagoya Protocol (NP). The workshop was opened with remarks of Inspector General Forests. He appreciated the joint efforts of GIZ and Directorate of Biodiversity, Ministry of Climate Change to arrange this much needed workshop on a subject less known in Pakistan. Mr. Wolfgang Hesse (policy advisor of GIZ) elaborated how this workshop has been materialized. Mr. Naeem Ashraf Raja Director Biodiversity Program briefed the objectives of this capacity building workshop which are: a) Awareness Raising; b) understanding where we are on ABS and where we want to go; c) to share the main points of draft ABS Act; d) to share the views on issues related to access on genetic resources and sharing the benefits arising from their utilization; e) the way forward to implement Nagoya protocol on access and benefit sharing in Pakistan and to fine tune the draft ABS legislation.
After the approval of the Federal cabinet, the Government of Pakistan has become a party and legally bound to Nagoya Protocol (NP),that is a law under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) provides legal cover to access to Pakistan’s traditional knowledge and genetic resources.
After accession to Nagoya Protocol, Pakistan is in a better position by having a strong basis for greater legal certainty, transparency and predictability for both providers and users of genetic resources. The Protocol also provides a framework in case of dispute over a genetic resource shared by more than one country. Since India not only ratified the Nagoya Protocol but has also provided legal cover to traditional knowledge and genetic resources, most of which are common heritage of both countries.
The Inspector General Forests who is also the controlling officer and focal person for ABS and NP in Pakistan highlighted that if Pakistan does not take immediate steps for legislation to give effect to Nagoya Protocol through domestic legislation, India is likely to take all benefits from common traditional knowledge alone. Quoting example of Joshanda a common herbal medicine he said that if India or some Swiss company starts marketing it in Europe then NP provides procedures to get a share of profits to the local communities that hold that traditional knowledge.
The wide participation from all departments relating to genetic resources and biodiversity from federal and provincial departments including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir makes it an important event for clarifying ABS and Nagoya Protocol. International experts from GIZ and ABS Capacity Development Initiative are providing fruitful information to build the national capacity on Access and Benefit Sharing and Nagoya Protocol.
Participants from all provinces, NGO, Academia and herbal pharmaceutical industry will attend this three day workshop that coincides with the International Day on Biodiversity. The workshop was conducted by Ministry of Climate Change with the collaboration of International experts from GIZ Germany and CBD. While Katherine Heidbrink, Sussane Walloneufer and Wolfgang Hesse of GIZ were present along with officers from the MOCC and Mr. Oliveir Rukundo the leading global expert on ABS gave the presentations.PREVIOUS NEXT