End of January, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative organised its 4th Business Dialogue. The aim of this conference is to create an environment where regulators and private sectors can share their views with regards to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.
It was my first time in this conference and I must say that it gave me the opportunity to meet with new people but overall it confirmed some key unresolved questions on the concrete implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.
My key learnings are the followings:
- I found very interesting how Sarah Laird and Rachel Wynberg from the University of Cape Town summarised the potential regulations’ scope as followed.
It shows that at a minimum the national legislations should regulate the yellow circle while the orange one might not be. However, several national legislations choose the incorporate this part int the regulation as well, for example in South Africa.
- Interesting discussions took place but key questions remain, such as: Is a transformed ingredient, which already went through R&D, considered as a Genetic Resource and therefore would enter into the national legislation scope? How the confidentiality (when business is involved) will be secured? Etc.
In terms of technical matters, we need to note that:
- National laws shall be translated into a UN official language (e.g. English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, etc.) but key elements of national law might never been translated into an international language such as English or French. So if you do not speak the other official language, we might face some difficulties in understanding it.
- The contents of the ABS Clearing-House has been decided between the parties so the UN CBD Secretariat can’t alter it and can’t suggest to add a flowchart summarising the processes of ABS regulations for biodiversity users. While this tool would have been of great help for every user in order to understand the steps and requirements.
Despite the fact that not everything is crystal clear, I strongly recommend that businesses should anticipate the upcoming regulations, starting to implement relevant tools and good practices. Even if the regulations are not in place, you will never lose to anticipate and to create back up with your activities. This will help you to secure supply chain and R&D development.
On this topic, we created a 1-day training to get you familiarised with the subject and start to know some key tools. We already provided this training to 3 companies in France, between January and February 2015. The next timeline for this training in Europe will be in September. Contact me if you want more information on this service.