Ninth meeting of the CBD Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing
22 March – 28 March 2010 (Cali, Colombia)

The ninth meeting of the CBD Working Group on ABS continued negotiations on an international regime on ABS, on the basis of a draft protocol tabled by the Co-Chairs. Following three days of productive contact group discussions and significant progress achieved on a number of issues, including benefit-sharing from derivatives and an internationally recognized certificate of compliance, an inter-regional group was established. Due to procedural wrangling, the inter-regional group never managed to enter into text-based negotiations. The Working Group eventually agreed to: suspend ABS 9 and convene a resumed session in the near future; and forward the draft protocol text, as revised during this session, to the resumed session, with the understanding that the draft was not negotiated and is without prejudice to the rights of parties to make further amendments and additions to the text.

With regard to TK, discussions focused on whether it should be addressed as a cross-cutting issue under the draft protocol’s provisions on compliance, benefit-sharing and access; or whether it should be covered solely under draft protocol Article 9. Other issues addressed included: the relationship between ABS activities and TK associated with genetic resources; diversity of national circumstances; recognition of customary law; benefit-sharing from TK utilization; PIC with regard to access to TK; and transboundary issues. The draft protocol to be forwarded to the resumed session addresses benefit-sharing for genetic resource or TK use with the ILCs holding such resources or TK (Article 4); calls upon parties to take appropriate measures with the aim of ensuring that TK associated with genetic resources held by ILCs is accessed with the PIC/approval and involvement of ILCs, and is based on MAT (Article 5bis); requires parties to cooperate, with ILCs’ involvement, with TK is shared by different ILCs (Article 8); and requires parties to give due consideration to ILCs’ community and customary laws, community protocols and procedures, with respect to TK associated with genetic resources and establish mechanisms to inform potential users of TK about their ABS obligations (Article 9). Visit the IISD RS webpage including daily coverage and a summary/analysis of the meeting …