UNDP-GEF Projects on Access to genetic resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits (ABS)
The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources is one of the three pillars of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its implementation is the primary purpose of the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing (ABS).
Through the Protocol genetic resources and sustainable development are inextricably linked. Genetic resources are essential for the development of agriculture, food/beverage, biotechnological and pharmaceutical products. These products support poverty alleviation, food security, human well-being, and underpin the Earth’s life support systems. The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development sets forth an ambitious set of universal goals and targets to tackle the challenges facing the world today. In order to ensure that its visionary outcomes are achieved, it is imperative that efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda do so in a way that effectively integrates the economic, social and environmental dimensions, including the role of genetic resources and the international principle of benefit-sharing.The Nagoya Protocol is uniquely positioned to facilitate this integration through science, technology and traditional knowledge.
UNDP is one of the implementing agencies of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). GEF Agencies work with project proponents to design project proposals and then manage implementation of these projects on the ground.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s comparative advantage for the GEF lies in its global network of country offices, its experience in integrated policy development, human resources development, institutional strengthening, and non-governmental and community participation. UNDP assists countries in designing and implementing activities consistent with both the GEF mandate and national sustainable development plans, the perfect combination to integrate ABS as a key instrument for the consecution of Sustainable Development Goals.
Since 2012, UNDP has consolidated implementation of the third objective of the CBD through GEF-funded projects that facilitate not only the ratification of the Nagoya Protocol but also access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing in over 40 countries. UNDP is working with governments and stakeholders in developing countries that already have a policy framework in place for ABS to facilitate ethical biodiscovery projects between users and providers of genetic resources. In this context, UNDP is also supporting indigenous and local communities for the development of payment and benefit-sharing mechanisms and bio-cultural community protocols. UNDP’s mandate on ABS is underscored by UNDP’s Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework (2012-2020) and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
The UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project
The UNDP-GEF Project “Strengthening human resources, legal frameworks, and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol” (Global ABS Project) is a 3-year project (August 2016-2019) that aims to assist 24 countries in the national implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, building on existing biodiversity initiatives, investments and identified priorities.
This is a GEF funded project executed under Direct Implementation Modality by UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub in partnership with United Nations Volunteers (UNV). UNV is assisting the project with direct funding and its extensive network of volunteers.
The project is supporting the establishment of ABS administrative and governance systems with appropriate procedures, guidelines, plans, regulations, and instructive documents. Through training, advocacy and awareness-raising, the project is helping to clarify roles and increase knowledge and understanding of the objectives and obligations of the Nagoya Protocol so that stakeholders can implement effective laws and guidelines, negotiate agreements, and monitor and enforce compliance.
The project is also strengthening partnerships and coordination to increase dialogue, trust and support by stakeholders and integrate ABS regulations across sectors at the country, regional and global levels. This will increase the capacity to assess, document and disseminate information about available genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge for productive and economic use while conserving biodiversity.
Successful implementation is expected to lead to the creation of new economic and research opportunities, establish a comprehensive monitoring system for ABS, and contribute positively to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Expected Project Outcomes
- 21 new (or reviewed) draft ABS national frameworks.
- 1380 national stakeholders trained on ABS procedures.
- 25 ABS commercial agreements negotiated.
- 20 ethical codes of conduct or guidelines for research on genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge developed.
- Knowledge, attitudes and practices assessment surveys conducted in 17 countries.
- Socioeconomic valuation of key ABS value chains.
- Awareness of ABS increased among indigenous peoples and local communities in 22 countries.
- 25 bio-community/biocultural protocols developed in 22 countries.
- A global Community of Practice established on ABS.
- 20 knowledge products on specific ABS topics, including a publication on ABS cases presented to COP-14 CBD.