Gino Cocchiaro (Natural Justice) is currently in New York to take part in the information and preparatory meeting for Indigenous peoples and local communities on access and benefit sharing (ABS) and traditional knowledge entitled, “The Nagoya Protocol and the Way Ahead”. The meeting, which took place from May 21-22, is organized and supported by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa, the Indigenous Information Network (IIN), Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), Conservation International, GIZ, and the Equator Initiative of the United Nations Development Programme.
The meeting provided participants with a background to the Nagoya Protocol on ABS and an opportunity for representatives of Indigenous peoples and local communities from North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia to critically analyze the potential benefits and areas of concern of the Protocol. Participants also discussed and prepared plans of action on how to best utilize the Nagoya Protocol in order to engage their governments on the issues and ensure that they recognize and support the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities over their genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge when implementing national ABS legislation. The information and preparatory meeting coincides with the 10th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which takes place from May 16-27.