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Key ABS stakeholders from Botswana trained on contract negotiations

Key ABS stakeholders from Botswana trained on contract negotiations

30 Sep 2019

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From left to right: María Julia Oliva, Deputy Director & Senior Coordinator for ABS and Policy at UEBT, Dr Marks Ditlhogo, National Biological Diversity Authority (NBDA) Chairperson; Claudio Chiarolla, UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project Regional Specialist for Southern Africa, Arab countries and Eastern Europe and Dr. Oduetse Oldman Koboto, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Environment Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT).

Understanding the main elements of ABS contracts and negotiation has been identified as a major capacity building need for providers and users of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Ensuring that all actors in the ABS value chains are informed and trained is therefore crucial in order to ensure effective access and benefit sharing principles.

In this regard, Botswana, in the framework of implementation of the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project held a contract negotiation training workshop on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) on September 3rd – 5th, 2019 in Gaborone.

The workshop gathered 34 key ABS stakeholders, to provide specific tools and mechanisms on ABS contracts using case studies and rigorous methodologies to capacitate the national Access and Benefit Sharing Focal Point (ABS FP) and the National Competent Authority (NCA).

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Participants of the contract negotiation training workshop on ABS, September 3rd – 5th, 2019, Gaborone.

The training simulated the negotiation of contractual arrangements related to ongoing and/or potential ABS compliant research and biodiscovery partnerships for the valorization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Participants worked in group discussions, ABS negotiation simulations and plenaries, guided by María Julia Oliva, Deputy Director & Senior Coordinator for ABS and Policy at UEBT, and Claudio Chiarolla, UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project Regional Specialist for Southern Africa, Arab countries and Eastern Europe.

The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT) of Botswana recently approved a Cabinet memorandum that includes detailed drafting instructions for implementation the ABS legal framework. In particular, through such memorandum the Attorney General was invited to facilitate the drafting of the ABS legislation. In the meantime, a technical reference group of ABS and legal experts has also prepared an informal working draft of the ABS law, which may be used as a laymen’s draft aid for the Attorney General.

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Dr Oduetse Oldman Koboto during contract training workshop.

Dr. Oduetse Oldman Koboto, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Environmental Affairs (DEA) at the MENT, said in his official opening remarks:

“To date the ABS project has successfully facilitated the development of a policy review that has recommended the development of a stand-alone ABS Law for Botswana. Let me also take this moment to inform you that Cabinet has recently authorised us to develop a National Access and Benefit Sharing law. This will be an instrument to enable for the full domestication of the Nagoya Protocol”.

Botswana aims to complete its ABS law with the support of the Attorney General, who has been participating in the implementation of the project. “The Government has again allocated US$1.76 million for ABS Phase II activities from GEF 7 cycle as an indication of commitment to ABS”, Oldman Koboto concluded.

View the photo gallery of the event here.

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