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Fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing
(ABS 5)

8-12 October 2007
Montreal, Canada

Highlights from Wednesday, 10 October

Delegates to the fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) met all day in plenary and continued considering elements of an international regime on ABS relating to compliance, traditional knowledge and genetic resources, and capacity building.
Photo: Suhel al Janabi, GTZ  (left) and Andreas Drews , GTZ (right), during a lunchtime side event on the Dutch-German ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa

CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf with ABS Working Group Co-Chairs Fernando Casas, Colombia, and Timothy Hodges, Canada

Soumayila Bancé, Burkina Faso, for the African Group, stressed that the certificate of origin must be binding. Gustavo Pacheco and Fernando Coimbra, Brazil (right); Brazil suggested referring to “certificates of compliance with national legislation in compliance with the Convention,” identifying certificates by unique numbers, and establishing national authorities in provider and user countries to monitor use of genetic resources and traditional knowledge.



Thailand (left) suggested establishing checkpoints for scientific users and developing alternative mechanisms such as internationally recognized serial numbers. Robert McLean, Canada (right), recognized the utility of a certificate of compliance as proof that the access requirements under national law have been met.



Japan (left) suggested identifying the objectives of certificates and conducting a cost benefit analysis. Volodymyr Domashlinets, Ukraine (right), supported a mandatory certificate for both providers and users.

Le'a Malia Kanehe, Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism (left), speaking for the Pacific Indigenous Caucus, opposed any certificate that does not cover traditional knowledge. The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (right) said indigenous peoples' PIC must be obtained, and stressed the need for certainty with respect to indigenous peoples' rights.

Joji Cariño, Tebtebba Foundation (left), speaking for the Asian Indigenous Caucus, said the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity requested that a certificate also cover traditional knowldege. Peru (right) noted that national legal systems do not always provide for effective ABS.

Monitoring, enforcement and dispute settlement


Samuel Dieme, Senegal (left) said that an international certificate should not replace but should compliment national laws and contracts. Teresa Dolores Cruz Sardinas, Cuba (right) called for an ABS dispute resolution mechanism.


Mary Fosi Mbantenkhu, Cameroon, and CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf (left), and Enate Evi, Tuvalu, speaking for Pacific SIDS (right), called for an indicative list of acts of misappropriation of genetic resources.

Traditional Knowledge and Genetic Resources

Kassahun Embaye, Ethiopia (left), called for measures to prevent biopiracy; ABS Working Group Co-Chair Fernando Casas (center) during the afternoon session. The Latin American Indigenous Caucus (right) requested recognition of indigenous peoples as owners of traditional knowledge and genetic resources and called for access to be subject to PIC of indigenous peoples.



The Arctic Caucus (left) called for the international regime to reflect indigenous customary law. Felicity Buchanan, New Zealand (center) called on the Article 8(j) Working Group to develop guidelines on the integration of traditional knowledge into national ABS legislation.Sonia Smallacombe, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (right), stated that the development of a strong ethical code of conduct to ensure respect for the cultural and intellectual heritage of indigenous and local communities by the Article 8(j) Working Group can assist in the development of an international ABS regime.


ABS-Management Tool


Michael Gullo and George Greene, Stratos, with the ABS-Management Tool: Best Practice Standard booklet (left) and speaking with ENB writer Stefan Jungcurt (right)

Side Event: ABS for Africa Initiative: Achievements and Upcoming Activities

This side event, organized by Germany and the Netherlands, included presentations by African participants on activates being conducted held under the Dutch-German Capacity Development Initiative. Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte, Natural Justice (left), discusses the outcomes of the First African Workshop on ABS held in Cape Town in November, 2006.

Side Event: Access and Benefit-Sharing: Real Problems and False Solutions
This side event, organized by the Global Forest Coalition, highlighted biopiracy cases and outlined proposals to adapt legal systems governing biodiversity, traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights to the realities of Indigenous Peoples and other holders of traditional knowledge.
Miscellaneous Photos


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