On 18 October 2012, Laureen Manuel of Natural Justice attended a high-level panel discussion at a side event at the Convention of Biodiversity’s (CBD) 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) in Hyderabad, India. The discussion contemplated key questions surrounding the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). The panel included Bard Vegar Solhjell, Minister of Environment (Norway) (Chair), Sileshi Getahun, Minister of Agriculture (Ethiopia), Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for the Environment (European Union), and Dr Pema Gyantsho, Minister of Agriculture (Bhutan). Delegates who attended this gathering included government representatives, civil society organisations and representatives of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
- Although only a few countries have ratified the Protocol, many countries are at various stages aimed at ratification, with many countries revising their legislation and policies to meet the obligations of the Protocol;
- The importance of awareness-raising of rights and other ABS issues cannot be over-emphasised;
- Capacity building and financial and human resources are critical to the process, and is lacking in many countries;
- Collaboration and the exchange of experiences among Parties are important for effective implementation and should continue in the future.