Training on mutually agreed terms (MAT) for access to genetic resources supporting the effective implementation of the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing

Training Workshop: Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, Fiji
Training Workshop: Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, Fiji

Workshop summary report prepared by;

Lealofi Mamaia
Seumalo Afele Faiilagi

Overview
Since the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol, its parties have been and are still in the process of revising existing ABS regulatory frameworks for the implementation of all provisions of the Nagoya Protocol. The same is for developing new regulatory frameworks for its implementation.
In the ABS system, MAT is one of the central framework that is assisting in facilitating the Nagoya Protocol. The key elements of ABS contracts is the key to ensuring the third objective of CBD is achieved; fair and equitable access and benefit sharing. This builds a strong foundation between the users and providers in the use of genetic resources associated with traditional knowledge.

Objective
The training hosted from 30th July to 3rd August 2018 aims at providing in-depth understand of the elements of ABS contracts and its contents, especially the process of negotiation between the parties. Its objectives are as follows:

  1. How to prepare for negotiating a contract, exploring the variety of actors involved in ABS agreements and different approaches to be taken into account;
  2. Defining the res of the contract; its object and purpose altogether;
  3. Drafting benefit-sharing clauses to ensure both monetary and non-monetary benefits are both reflected;
  4. How to deal with intellectual property rights in an ABS Contract; and
  5. Identifying different solutions for compliance and challenges related to enforcement: reporting requirements; choice of law; dispute settlement provisions; choice of court or ADR.

Expected outcome
One of the main expected learning outcomes for participants was to be able to understand the key elements of contract and be able to draft its own international contract to especially reflect access to benefit sharing. In addition to which is being able to develop negotiation skills required to conclude a successful ABS agreement.

Way forward for MNRE and Samoa
It is essence that we ensure we start drafting an ABS Contract to ensure our resources associated with traditional knowledge are well protected. This Contract should not only reflect benefits the Government gets but also ensuring our local communities share equal access to these benefits. There should also be more awareness programs in rural areas to ensure they are well aware of these instruments and they are well trained to negotiate with researchers prior the involvement of the Ministry.