TURKEYEN, Greater Georgetown, Guyana (CARICOM) — The CARICOM Secretariat continued to put measures in place to enhance capacity of Member States to implement the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing by hosting its third capacity-building workshop on the issue.
The event was held in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the CARICOM Secretariat Annex, Georgetown, Guyana.
Its aim was to strengthen the capacity of the participating countries to ratify or accede to the Protocol and to prepare for its implementation with the view to contributing to the achievement of Aichi Target 16, i.e. that the Nagoya Protocol is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation, by 2015.
Speaking at the opening ceremony for the workshop, Director of Human Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Ms. Myrna Bernard said the workshop came at a time when many Member States were updating their national biodiversity strategies and action plans. She said the CARICOM Secretariat, through its Sustainable Development Programme, has long advocated for mainstreaming the environment into national and regional strategies for economic and social development.
Ms. Bernard also used the opportunity to outline some of the work that was being done by the CARICOM Secretariat to implement the Protocol. She said the Secretariat has co-hosted two previous Caribbean regional ABS workshops in cooperation with the Access and Benefit-Sharing Initiative and with support from the European Union. She noted that training in the drafting of legislation for Protocol implementation has also been delivered and a list of qualified consultants who could assist Member States in the legislative and policy process has been compiled and disseminated.
She outlined further that in an effort to widen awareness and deepen the understanding of the opportunities and benefits that could arise from participation in the global ABS framework, the Secretariat has also formally brought the Nagoya Protocol and its implications for the Region to the attention of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) – Ministers of Agriculture and the COTED – Ministers of Environment.
She also expressed appreciation to the European Union for its support to host a one-day training session on the Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing House, to be held on Wednesday as part of the workshop. She also thanked the CBD Secretariat and the European Union for providing training on the pilot-phase of the ABS Clearing House.
Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment of Guyana Hon. Robert Persaud declared the workshop open. He said in his remarks that it was important to have systems like the Protocol in place to safeguard resources. He noted that there has been legislation established in Guyana that will help with the implementation of the Protocol. He said Guyana was willing to share its experiences and he was hopeful that all the other participants would share their knowledge so there can be a mutual exchange of ideas.
“It is my expectation that when we will have concluded this workshop the region will be better equipped to implement the Nagoya Protocol” he said.
The workshop will build on the Caribbean Workshop on Access and Benefit-sharing (25-29 November 2013, Kingston, Jamaica) and the Regional Training Workshop on Drafting Legislation for Implementation on the Nagoya Protocol on Access and benefit Sharing (26-28 June 2013, Roseau, Dominica), which were organised by the CARICOM Secretariat and the ABS Capacity Development Initiative, in collaboration with CBD Secretariat.