A week-long training on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) commenced in Gaborone, Botswana, on 6 April. The target audience of the training are ABS focal points as well as policy makers from national and regional IPR authorities from anglophone Africa. Approximately 40 participants have been gathered for the training. The training is hosted and facilitated by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative and the Secretariat of the Southern Africa Development Community, with Morten Walloe Tvedt (Fridtjof Nansen Institute), Juliana Santilli (Brazil’s Public Prosecution Office), and Johanna von Braun (Natural Justice) as resource persons.
During the intensive training, participants are being exposed to an overall introduction to IPRs; specific sessions on patent law, geographical indications and trademarks; the protection of traditional knowledge; the global and national institutional landscapes of ABS and IPR policy making; and the role of IPRs in the negotiation of ABS agreements and contracts.
This is the first of four trainings that the ABS Initiative will facilitate on ABS and IPRs in 2013. A further training will take place for each of French- and Portuguese-speaking African representatives as well as for representatives of Indigenous peoples and local communities.