Raising Awareness about the ABS Protocol

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Kabir Bavikatte (Natural Justice) participated in a press conference organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity on October 23. The purpose of the press conference was to inform the international media about the concept of access and benefit sharing (ABS) and the importance of the international Protocol on ABS, which is currently in its final stages of negotiation. Kabir spoke to journalists about the lessons from the San Hoodia case, particularly on the importance of ‘user country’ compliance measures. He explained that it is only through an international Protocol on ABS that user countries can be compelled to put in place strong compliance measures. These compliance measures would ensure that users of genetic resources and traditional knowledge within user country jurisdictions seek prior informed consent from provider countries and Indigenous peoples and local communities for the use of their genetic resources and traditional knowledge. In the San Hoodia case, such user country measures would prevent continued violation of the rights of the San over their traditional knowledge by various companies that are marketing Hoodia products without getting the prior and informed consent of the San community.

23 October 2010

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