Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) “Training the Trainer” regional workshop in Saint Lucia

By Department of Sustainable Development

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(PRESS RELEASE) – Saint Lucia, along with seven other Caribbean countries, is part of a regional initiative to advance the ratification of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization also known as the Nagoya ABS Protocol.

This protocol provides greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. In short, it ensures that if a genetic resource (plant, animal or microorganism) is used for research or development, any benefits obtained are shared equitably with the people of Saint Lucia.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, Regional Office for Mexico, Central American and the Caribbean (IUCN -ORMACC) supported by the Sustainable Development and Environment Division (SDED) of the Department of Sustainable Development (DSD) developed a training of the trainers’ course on the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

The first “Training of the Trainers” workshop on the Nagoya ABS Protocol took place August 20 – 24, 2018, in Rodney Bay Saint Lucia. The workshop was attended by the representatives from the ministries responsible for Forestry, Sustainable Development and External Affairs.

The training workshop included a twelve-module lesson plan, a “Training of Trainer Manual and an online course in “Establishing Legal Frameworks to Implement the Nagoya Protocol” with additional modules specific to the Caribbean context. Each module includes teaching methodologies, tools, techniques, class exercises including artistic expressions and quizzes; and aids with communication planning to help strategically deliver content to reach specific target audiences.

The five-day training workshop is part of ongoing initiatives to build regional capacity to implement the Nagoya ABS Protocol. It was designed to equip instructors from across the Caribbean in their preparation for and execution of national training workshops. In addition, the workshop is designed to increase awareness of the Nagoya ABS protocol, the steps needed to gain permission to access genetic resources and negotiate terms for sharing benefits.

The workshop also provided information on monitoring and enforcement to ensure that the obligations of the protocol are being met.

Minister with responsibility for Education and Sustainable Development, the Hon. Gale T.C. Rigobert applauded the capacity building initiative and the preparatory work being undertaken to ratify the Nagoya Protocol. “It is critical that we raise public awareness of this important protocol and equip our citizens and public servants with the tools to implement it. The Department of Sustainable Development recognises that this protocol can revolutionise the way in which we use biological resources and generate income from them and so we are ensuring that all systems are in place before we ratify the Nagoya ABS Protocol.”

The Department of Sustainable Development continues to lead the process towards ratification of the Nagoya ABS Protocol and has drafted an ABS Policy and legislation. The DSD encourages multi-sectoral collaboration and good governance for the protection of our biological resources, strengthening of institutional, administrative and legislative frameworks and to promoting equitable sharing of all benefits for national development.

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