Workshop and Dialogue on Access and Benefit Sharing for Business at Chennai and New Delhi in April 2018

27 Apr, 2018

The National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, New Delhi and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, New Delhi conducted two workshops of one-and-half days each under the Access and Benefit Sharing Partnership Project on 24 – 25th April, 2018 at Chennai and on 26 – 27th April, 2018 at New Delhi.

The workshop aimed to increase exchange of dialogue between regulatory authorities and users on regulatory frameworks and best practices for Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) compliance as part of achieving the objectives of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and its ABS provisions.

Participants from the workshop in Chennai

Over 30 participants each representing different Indian companies were present in Chennai and New Delhi and the sessions were facilitated by Ms. Maria Julia Oliva, Senior Coordinator for Policy and Technical Support, Union for Ethical BioTrade, The Netherlands. She described the key concepts of ABS and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in different countries around the world. Shri T. Rabikumar IFS, Secretary, National Biodiversity Authority highlighted and explained the interpretation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 to provide further clarity on the application, processes involved to gain approval from the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) as per the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the ABS Regulations 2014 for the same. He also encouraged constructive feedback from the participants and increased dialogue to facilitate a cooperative relationship between the authorities and the businesses. Professor R. S. Rana, Chairperson of the Expert Committee on Agro Biodiversity at NBA and Member of Steering Committee for ABS Partnership Project responded to various procedural aspects and provided background on its principles under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and interacted with the participants at New Delhi.

Participants from the workshop in New Delhi

There were various interactive group sessions on discussion of hypothetical case studies as well as an opportunity for the participants to present their specific case and challenges posed by procedural complexities including proposals to overcome. They also had an opportunity to interact with authorities to clarify their queries on the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and ABS compliance. Participants requested follow-up sector-specific workshops where they could present sectoral challenges, like for example, nomenclature of bacteriophage, bio-discovery projects and explore ways to maintain appropriate ABS compliance.

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