On 26 October, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative and Conservation International hosted a one-day capacity building event for conservation organisations in the Washington, D.C., area on access and benefit sharing (ABS). Entitled “ABS and Conservation: Opportunities and Challenges for the Future”, the event included speakers who have been working in the ABS context for many years, including Pierre du Plessis from CRIAA and Jorge Cabrera from INBio, Costa Rica. Johanna von Braun (Natural Justice) also presented on the use of biocultural community protocols for the implementation of ABS at the local level.
The event provided participants with a general overview of ABS, the Nagoya Protocol and a number of case studies, and raised question in terms of the overlaps between ABS and conservation and how ABS should function as an incentive for conservation. A number of participants particularly highlighted the importance of linking questions related to resource governance to conservation and ABS and the importance of connecting questions regarding resource rights to establishing successful ABS incentive schemes that lead to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The day ended with a fruitful discussion and brainstorming session on the particular role that conservation groups such Conservation International can play in making ABS work in practice.