On August 30, participants representing Indigenous peoples and local communities from about 25 countries in Africa began a busy first day of the Second African ILC Preparatory Meeting on Access and Benefit Sharing and Traditional Knowledge with an overview of the ABS process. The participants heard from John Scott (CBD Secretariat) on the role of the Working Group on Article 8(j) and related provisions and Kabir Bavikatte (Natural Justice) on the draft protocol on the International Regime on Access and Benefit Sharing (IRABS). Participants then spent the afternoon discussing and exchanging their local experiences with bio-prospecting and bio-piracy. Mathambo Ngakaeaja from the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) presented an in-depth history and lessons learnt from the San Hoodia case.
The meeting now moves into a detailed analysis of traditional knowledge within the CBD and World Intellecual Property Organization (WIPO) frameworks, including negotiations under the International Regime on Access and Benefit Sharing (IRABS) and Inter-Governmental Committee on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), before the participants provide their recommendations to the African Group of Negotiators on the draft protocol on ABS.