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PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES FOR ACCESS AND COLLECTION OF GENETIC RESOURCES IN MALAWI By Prof J H Seyani National Herbarium & Botanic Gardens of Malawi P.

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Presentation on theme: "PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES FOR ACCESS AND COLLECTION OF GENETIC RESOURCES IN MALAWI By Prof J H Seyani National Herbarium & Botanic Gardens of Malawi P."— Presentation transcript:

1 PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES FOR ACCESS AND COLLECTION OF GENETIC RESOURCES IN MALAWI By Prof J H Seyani National Herbarium & Botanic Gardens of Malawi P O Box 528 Zomba, Malawi

2 PRESENTATION OUTLINE General Introduction Objectives of ABS Procedures and Guidelines in Malawi ABS Diagram Intended Users Role of existing regulatory mechanisms in the drafting process Main actors involved in the drafting process Institutions involved in negotiations/approvals process Specific regulations regarding benefit-sharing Number and status of bioprospecting agreements realized to date Lessons learned to date Changes required and the way forward

3 GENERAL INTRODUCTION Malawi is endowed with rich biological diversity- varied plants, animals,micro-organisms, and habitats. The country has high cultural diversity and associated traditional uses of its genetic resources. The potential value of Malawis biological capital necessitated development of regulatory mechanisms for access, collection and utilisation of genetic resources by both local and foreign individuals.

4 General Introduction (contd) Current regulatory mechanisms on GRs include national policies and legislation. Regulatory mechanisms are also a response to international obligations, i.e CBD, etc.

5 OBJECTIVES OF PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES FOR ABS IN MALAWI OBJECTIVES OF PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES FOR ABS IN MALAWI 1. Ensure that research of Malawi's genetic materials does not lead to loss of biological diversity. 2. Ensure that exchange of genetic resources germplasm and commercialisation of research results are done in such a way that Malawi benefits economically from whatever is exported. 3. Encourage the establishment of gene banks and genetic data banks (in-situ and ex-situ) and formation of strong linkages with the banks including the SADC gene bank.

6 Objectives (contd) 4. Ensure that research projects that involve exchange of genetic resources and germplasm are effected in a manner that encourages collaboration with foreign researchers. 5. Ensure that expatriate researchers/collectors work closely with competent local researchers to safeguard Malawi's interest.

7 Objectives (contd) 6. Ensure that research projects on genetic resources are only those that are geared towards Malawis socio-economic development and that their execution does not lead to fragmentation and duplication of research efforts. 7. Encourage research projects on proper management, conservation and sustainable utilisation of genetic resources.

8 THE MALAWI ABS SCHEME Foreign Application Local Collaborator NRCM National Competent Authority GRBC Applic Approved Applic Rejected Access Agreement Signed Monitoring Accrued Benefits shared

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10 INTENDED USERS OF THE GUIDELINES (contd): c. Local scientists and research institutions that are funded by an external source on research projects involving the collection of Malawis genetic resources. d. Malawi Government officials at ports of entry.

11 ROLE OF EXISTING LEGISLATION, REGULATIONS, MODEL LAW OR GUIDELINES IN THE DRAFTING PROCESS: ROLE OF EXISTING LEGISLATION, REGULATIONS, MODEL LAW OR GUIDELINES IN THE DRAFTING PROCESS: SADC Plant Genetic Resources Access Regulations. National Environmental Action Plan. National Environmental Policy. Environmental Management Act. Convention on Biological Diversity. WTO-TRIPs Agreement.

12 MAIN ACTORS INVOLVED IN THE DRAFTING PROCESS: National Research Council of Malawi. National Herbarium and Botanic Gardens. Ministry of Agriculture & Food Security. Ministry of Mines, Natural Resources and Environment. Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. University of Malawi.

13 INSTITUTIONS INVOLVED IN THE NEGOTIATION/APPROVAL PROCESS Affiliating institutions- R & D bodies that the foreign researcher will work with in conducting research. Certifying institutions- government and governmental institutions designated to control certain categories of genetic resources.

14 Current Certifying institutions include: National Research Council of Malawi. Department of Agricultural Research. Department of Animal Health and Industry. Forestry Research Institute of Malawi. Department of Fisheries. Department of National Parks and Wildlife. Ministry of Health and Population. National Herbarium & Botanic Gardens.

15 SPECIFIC REGULATIONS REGARDING BENEFIT-SHARING That any benefits arising from the utilisation of Malawi's genetic resources should be shared with the providers in Malawi, and in accordance with CBD Article 15. Benefits can be monetary or non-monetary (capacity-building, collaborative research, transfer of technology, provision of equipment or literature, patents, etc).

16 NUMBER AND STATUS OF BIOPROSPECTING AGREEMENTS REALIZED TO DATE: A number of local ABS schemes developed between local people and Government departments or NGOs. No recorded international bioprospecting agreement under the new ABS framework has been realized so far.

17 LESSONS LEARNED TO DATE: Operationalisation of ABS regulatory mechanisms by affliating and certifying institutions in Malawi. Local benefit-sharing schemes are promoting conservation sustainable use and ownership of genetic resources. Loss of genetic resources through poor regulated and weak enforcement of ABS Regulations. Failure to monitor scope and activities of both local and foreign NGOs and projects that involve collection of genetic resources and associated traditional.

18 CHANGES AT LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVEL THAT WOULD IMPROVE ABS FRAMEWORKS: There must be multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral training on ABS in Malawi. Increased public awareness on the value of genetic resources and associated tradtional knowledge for socio-economic development and poverty-alleviation. Developed countries, international aid agencies and private sector should promote and advocate good governance and transparency on ABS both at home and in developing countries. Sharing of information and experience on ABS in Africa through a network and the CBD-CHM.

19 THANK YOU


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