7 June 2018

Cameroon: Nagoya Protocol On Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources - Private Sector Urged to Join Implementation

A meeting to acquaint and solicit the involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the protocol took place on June 1st in Douala.

The Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme on Friday June 1st organised a meeting with the private sector in Douala, not only to acquaint but also ask for the involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the protocol.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development said the notion of the Nagoya Protocol was not known to the private sector whereas it constitutes an important element in the implementation process.

Hele Pierre said the accord was signed in 2010 in Nagoya-Japan with the objective of establishing fair and equitable benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

He described genetic resources as all material from animals, vegetation or microbe containing a gene with an effective or potential value used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Cameroon he said is endowed with an enormous diversity of plants, animals and microorganisms which place the country on the 5th position in the official ranking in this domain.

The UNDP Assistant Representative and Project Supervisor, Zeh-Nlo Martin traced the origin and evolution of the accord of the first countries in the world to implement it.

He added that our private sector didn't share the profits of the exploitation of genetic resources with the local communities. He therefore called for sharing not only of profits but knowledge so as to promote local development.

The project concerns two species in Cameroon, "echinops giganteus' and 'mondia whitei' found in the Magha-Bamumbu and Lewoh all in Lebialem-South West Region. The livelihoods of the local communities improved thanks to the sale of the roots of these two plants to a French company V. Mane Fils while awaiting the marketing of new products.

At the end of the meeting, participants, prominent among whom was GICAM agreed that local companies should finance research and exploitation of genetic resources so as to put an end to the dependency of financing from outside and achieve independence among many other things.

Cameroon ratified the convention on biodiversity in 1994, participated in all negotiation processes of the protocol, signed it in 2014 and became a recognised party in 2017 after submitting the signed documents.

The nation Access and Benefit Sharing, ABS, strategy was designed in 2012 and validated in 2016.

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