Access and Benefit Sharing - negotiations to be continued

31 March 2010 | News story

In its intervention during the plenary session of the negotiations on the international regime to regulate access to genetic resources and the distribution of the benefits derived from their use, IUCN urged delegates to include the link between Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in the Protocol.

According to the Union, Access and Benefit Sharing needs to work as an incentive for conservation, recognizing those who maintain rich biological diversity and increasing awareness about biodiversity as a valuable asset. IUCN also urged Parties to recognize the relationship between the ABS process and the revision of the Strategic Plan of the Convention for the post-2010 period, its long-term vision, the proposed 2020 mission and targets.

The Access and Benefit Sharing Working Group gathered in Cali to finalize its work and deliver an ABS international regime to be adopted at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan later this year.

The negotiations were resumed on Sunday 28 March, following numerous delays and concerns about the process’s future, as delegations were not given enough time to properly negotiate.

Working Group Co-Chair Casas noted that the revised draft protocol proposed by the Co-Chairs would constitute the basis for further work but, although it has not been negotiated, it is without prejudice to the rights of parties to make further amendments and additions to the text. The Working Group adopted the draft protocol (the Cali Annex) along with other documents including the draft Conference of the Parties decision and the meeting report.

Delegates presented outstanding issues and provided text proposals. In the afternoon plenary session, they discussed the road map for the continuation of the negotiations from the meeting in Cali to the conference in Nagoya. Eventually, delegates agreed to suspend the negotiations and resume them during a seven-day meeting which will take place in June or July 2010. Japan committed to look into the funding of this meeting.

Following closing statements, the meeting was officially closed.