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Regional ABS Capacity- Building Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa, Addis Ababa October 2 nd -6 th, 2005 Coco de Mer bioprospecting in Seychelles.

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Presentation on theme: "Regional ABS Capacity- Building Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa, Addis Ababa October 2 nd -6 th, 2005 Coco de Mer bioprospecting in Seychelles."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regional ABS Capacity- Building Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa, Addis Ababa October 2 nd -6 th, 2005 Coco de Mer bioprospecting in Seychelles

2 Peter Munyi Southern Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (SEAPRI) International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)

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4 Name and type of genetic resource Coco de Mer. As described by the company that has allegedly accessed the genetic resource: Often known as sea coconut, this is a giant palm found only in Seychelles. Its seed is the largest in nature, takes 10 years to mature and provides intensely hydrating and skin softening oil.

5 This is not entirely correct as few examples of Coco de Mer palms exist outside Seychelles. However, the only populations capable of sustaining commercial extractions of nuts are in the islands of Seychelles. However, text suggests collection having occurred in Seychelles.

6 Actors involved Molton Brown Limited (UK) Coco de Mer Limited (UK)

7 How the genetic resource is used Apparently, the kernel of the nut is being processed for use as an ingredient in a cosmetic skin lotion, Ultra Smooth Coco de Mer Body Lotion. The lotion retails at US$ 25 for 200ml and is also available in airline complimentary packages. A well established international market thus exists.

8 Type/kind of ABS Agreement No known agreement exists. An unknown agreement is unlikely as Coco de Mer is strictly regulated in Seychelles. Seychelles authorities are unaware of any authorised commercial exploitation by Molton Brown Limited.

9 Agreed benefits in the agreement None as no known agreement exists

10 Benefits realised to date No known benefits realized.

11 Direct contribution to poverty alleviation if any No known contributions to poverty alleviation.

12 Lessons learned to date It is difficult to know what is happening and this may be a case of unjust profiting by Molton Brown Limited on account of Seychellois goodwill due to a misrepresentation. Some legal instruments may be useful in protecting the Coco de Mer such as Geographical Indications (GIs), and Trade Marks but there are associated hurdles... a Coco de Mer trade mark was registered in the UK by a company, Coco de Mer Limited.

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14 What changes at the local, national and/or international level would significantly have made a difference regarding BS and poverty alleviation? Improved local or national frameworks in novel commodities, such as natural products. Improved access to information and legal frameworks in user countries. Greater effort by user countries to respect the sovereignty and legal frameworks of provider countries, probably through an agreed international framework

15 Questions and/or comments?? Thank you!!


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