THIRD MEETING OF THE AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING
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A working group of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has initiated talks on an international regime on access and benefit-sharing.

The third meeting of the CBD’s Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) met from 14-18 February 2005, in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Working Group’s talks on the topic were mandated by […]

A working group of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has initiated talks on an international regime on access and benefit-sharing.

The third meeting of the CBD’s Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) met from 14-18 February 2005, in Bangkok, Thailand. The Working Group’s talks on the topic were mandated by CBD COP-7, and reflected text on the subject contained in the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development’s Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
The Working Group also considered: additional approaches to complement the Bonn Guidelines on ABS, such as an international certificate of origin/source/legal provenance; measures to ensure compliance with prior informed consent of Parties providing genetic resources and of indigenous and local communities providing associated traditional knowledge; and options for indicators for ABS to be used for evaluating progress in the implementation of the CBD Strategic Plan.
As expected, discussions on the international ABS regime proved difficult. However, some progress was reported. A number of options were identified in terms of the scope and potential objectives of the regime, while its potential elements were grouped according to their subject matter to set the groundwork for more structured deliberations in the future. A matrix was also developed to identify and analyze the gaps in international instruments and indicate ways to address them. Finally, the meeting resulted in specific calls for government submissions on the matrix and broader ABS regime. Many experts regard such submissions as necessary in order to further clarify positions and set the baseline for the upcoming fourth meeting of the Working Group, expected to be held in March 2006, in Spain. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin report.


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