Biodiversity un Sudan
Sudan’s unique geographical coverage as the largest country in Africa makes it one of the richest environments in the diversity of insect species. Its borders extend from the desert in the north to the equatorial rainforests in the south, and its rangelands cover seven ecological zones: desert, semi-desert, low rainfall savanna on sand, low rainfall on clay, flood region, high rainfall savanna, and mountainous regions. These variations support a diversity of vegetation and production systems. The Red Sea coast and the tropical rainforests in the south equatorial region are home to many rare plant species, and the high rainfall savanna holds most of Sudan’s wildlife. The vast wetlands and floodplains of the south are internationally recognized havens for migratory waterfowl, and the mangrove lagoons and channels are very rich in fish species. Many plant species from Sudan are grown for food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and fodder.
However, a large proportion of this rich biodiversity has been affected by civil war, drought, fire, overgrazing, imprudent use of natural resources, expansion of monocrop agriculture at the expense of natural resource areas, poaching, and smuggling. The majority of mangrove stands are affected, at various levels of severity, by camel grazing, felling and limb cutting, and by hydrological changes (channels and salt production ponds). The increasing dependence on forest resources and pressure on habitats in the country is enough reason for urgent action towards sustainable natural resource management.
Nagoya Protocol and ABS Implementation
Sudan has been a Party to the Nagoya Protocol since October 2014, but the country is yet to adopt specific measures on Access to genetic resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS). The Conservation Act 2001 and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2013-2020, which cover the protection of biodiversity in Sudan, do not have specific provisions for ABS. Institutional management of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and sharing of benefits derived from them, are done mainly through sectoral implementation.
Current UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project Activities
The UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project is supporting stakeholders in Sudan to develop a legal framework for the sustainable access to and use of genetic resources. Efforts are being made to train stakeholders to help them understand ABS provisions of the Nagoya Protocol and how to domesticate and implement the Protocol. Support is also being provided to develop accompanying guidelines and regulations that would help simplify implementation. The new law is expected to be finalized by the end of 2018 and would provide a solid foundation for implementing ABS.
In addition, the project is supporting awareness-raising and advocacy on ABS and facilitating stronger partnerships and collaboration for sustained support and actions. Support will be provided for the establishment of genetic resources and traditional knowledge databanks and the monitoring of access and use of resources by stakeholders in and outside the country.