Fair access and benefit sharing of Pacific resources

Biodiversity is a resource, and the global community is working to ensure that benefits from the use of that resource are also used to protect the environments and the people who rely on them.

This week, a regional Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) project inception and capacity building workshop launched actions across Pacific countries to help manage genetic biodiversity.

"We are pleased to work with our Pacific island members, empowering them to confidently apply the Nagoya Protocol for the benefit of our island communities," said Mr Roger Cornforth, Deputy Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"The Nagoya Protocol and our work tries to address the inequality of bargaining power to protect biodiversity for the health of ecosystems, and of the communities who depend on our environments."

                        ABS

The Nagoya Protocol offers the opportunity to make the best possible use of a country's genetic resources, to generate and share benefits derived from their use, and to return some of the revenue generated from these activities to the protection of the resources and the development of the communities and countries where they were sourced.

"UN Environment is helping governments to deliver on the multilateral environment agreement (MEA) requirements and address their environmental and sustainable development concerns through access to vertical funds such as the Global Environment Facility," said Mr Stamatios Christopoulos, GEF Task Manager for the UN Environment Pacific sub-regional office.

"UN Environment stands ready to render support to all Pacific countries to become party to the Nagoya Protocol, and we look forward to implement and use the Nagoya Protocol to effectively meet their needs."

The Nagoya Protocol was adopted in 2010. Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu are the Pacific island parties to the Nagoya Protocol.

The objective of the ABS Project is to support Pacific Island countries to ratify the Nagoya Protocol and to implement key measures to make the Protocol operational in this region. The project will empower Pacific island countries to facilitate access to their genetic resources and secure benefit-sharing in a fair and equitable way in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol.

The ABS project will run for three years. It provides a foundation for further equality-driven access and benefit sharing of Pacific resources. The ABS project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented by UN Environment and executed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP ) in collaboration with key partners and Pacific governments.  

The Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) project inception and capacity building workshop is held from 26 to 30 June, 2017 at the SPREP Campus in Apia, Samoa. Pacific island participants attending are from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Other partners supporting or participating include the ABS Initiative, UNDP and resource staff from United Nations University and the University of New South Wales.
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