International Policy Updates on ABS
8th Meeting of the GNP HuB Network
Our 8th Stammtisch was held online on October 19th, 2022. It focused on international policy updates on ABS. The event was divided into two main blocks; the first block consisted of updates on various international fora in the context of access and benefit-sharing (ABS) and the second on non-monetary benefit sharing (NMBS) and how it could be quantified.
The attendees were informed about the events where the HuB Project has participated in the second half of the year and the upcoming events, being the most important the participation in the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Montreal in December. The project is also uploading the HuB material (i.e. infographics) into the ABS CH website. On the other hand, the HuB website continues to be updated and a new interactive infographic will be available soon.
But the biggest news is the extension of the project for another 5 years, from 2023-2027 with 2 full-time positions, based at DSMZ. The extension of the project will be financed by the “Allianz der Wissenschaften” with one position that will continue to focus on HuB activities (i.e. content development for website, awareness raising, help desk) and the second position with a stronger focus on following policy discussions at different fora (i.e. Plant Treaty, World Health Organization, Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction, etc).
Block 1: Current Policy Discussions
Three updates related to ABS discussions in different international fora were presented:
- ABS under the BBNJ-Negotiations by Vincent Schnell from Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
- International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) ABS and DSI discussions by Marliese von der Driesch from Federal Office for Agriculture and Food
- ABS within the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) by Konstantin Wussmann from German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
The presentations were followed up by a questions and answer section. You can check the details in the 8th Stammtisch report here.
Block 2: how could benefit-sharing from research be quantified?
Continuing in the line of the Global Biodiversity Framework and its ABS indicators, the second block was focused on the quantification of NMBS from research.
Genuar Núnez explained the project Examining trends in non-monetary benefit sharing the Leibniz Institute DSMZ is implementing, under the umbrella of the Science Policy Group, also known as the ET project.
Then, in order to understand how it could work in the practice, Prof. Loren Rieseberg, from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Chief Editor of Molecular Ecology shared his presentation on Reporting Benefit-Sharing in Scientific Journals.
Wrap-up – Amber H. Scholz
We hope these talks gave the audience an overall idea of what the current stand of the various international ABS processes is and to keep our network members up to date on what the discussions will be around in the upcoming negotiations in Montreal.
Amber followed up on Genuar’s presentation by pointing out that if you, or any of your colleagues, work on any of the grey countries in the map (figure 1) feel free to reach out to the HuB team so we could fill the gaps. The map highlights research projects with ABS permits.
The next Stammtisch event will most likely be at the end of January or beginning of February, we will inform you accordingly.