Rwanda is hosting a Pan African Workshop on Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources (ABS), where participants are brought together from across the continent.
The three days’ workshop at the Marriot Hotels in Kigali from 28-30 this month, brings together participants representing a wide array of ABS practitioners and experts including policy makers, researchers and academia, private sector, local communities, civil society, development partners and the media.
Participants to the workshop are sharing experiences on Access and Benefit Sharing of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge in Africa.
They will also discuss the challenges hindering countries from translating the potential of their genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge into business opportunities and development benefits.
The workshop is organised by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Secretariats of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) through the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).
The workshop comes ahead of the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP14).
It aims to showcase Africa’s knowledge and wisdom, support the achievements of national Sustainable Development Goals’ targets and build critical capacities to harness the innovative potential of Africa’s genetic resources and traditional knowledge.
Genetic resources (GRs) refer to genetic material of actual or potential value. Genetic material is any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity. Examples include material of plant, animal, or microbial origin, such as medicinal plants, agricultural crops and animal breeds.
During the three days, the workshop will also share the knowledge accumulated from country experiences in implementing the Nagoya Protocol in Africa.
“We are pleased to host this workshop and share lessons learned in developing Access and Benefit Sharing legal and policy frameworks.
“During this meeting, we will learn from countries across Africa on how to value genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as well as how to monitor their use,” said Eng. Coletha Ruhamya, Director General, Rwanda Environment Management Authority.
Rwanda has prepared a draft Ministerial Order regulating the access and benefit sharing of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.
This draft Ministerial Order is expected to be passed in the near future.