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Negotiations on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing (ABS). Towards a new Protocol on ABS of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Friday, 27 August 2010

The resumed 9th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-Sharing (WG ABS 9) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was held from 10 to 16 July 2010, in Montreal, Canada. More than 600 delegates from 114 governments (including Australia, Brazil, China, USA and the European Commission), civil society and indigenous and local communities attended the Meeting.

The draft Aichi Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) is now in place, and will be finalized and adopted on 29th October 2010 at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, to be held in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

The 9th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group taken place in Cali, Colombia, in March from 22 to 28, 2010, accepted a draft protocol on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from their use as a basis for further text-based negotiations. The draft Protocol was tabled by the two Co-Chairs (Canadian Tim Hodges and Colombian Fernando Casas) of the Ad Hoc Working Group, and progress was made with respect to benefit-sharing from derivatives and to an internationally recognized certificate of compliance. Since however it was not possible to finalize the text at this Meeting, the Ad Hoc Working Group decided to resume its 9th Meeting in Montreal in order to complete its mandate.
In Montreal, following a proposal by the Co-Chairs, the Ad Hoc Working Group convened an Interregional Negotiating Group (ING) to continue negotiations of the draft Protocol. At the Montreal negotiations, the structure of the text of the Draft Protocol remained intact and consensus was reached on important substantive parts of the text such as compliance, access, benefit-sharing including derivatives, and the relationship of the Protocol to other international instruments. However, the Ad Hoc Working Group was still unable to finalize the text with several issues remaining open including scope and the issue of pathogens, derivatives and the concept of utilization of genetic resources, and mechanisms to support compliance. In light of this, the Ad Hoc Working Group recognized that further negotiations were needed for the completion of the text and the submission of a final draft protocol for adoption by the COP 10. It therefore decided that the ING will be reconvened at Montreal from 18 to 21 September 2010 and that its 9th Meeting will resume on 16 October 2010, to endorse the work of the ING and report to COP-10.

Source: CBD
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