(c) Muliru Farmers Conservation Group, Equator Prize Winner 2010, Kenya
From 28 September to 4 October 2015, the Biodiversity and Community Health (BaCH) Initiative (coordinated by UNU-IAS) jointly with the multi-donor funded ABS Capacity Development Initiative, the Transdisciplinary University (TDU) of the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Tradition (FRLHT), the UNDP Equator Initiative, the National Biodiversity Authority of India and partners, will conduct the Community-to-Community Exchange and Capacity Development Workshop for Traditional Knowledge Holders on ABS.
The event will take place in Bangalore, India and includes field visits within three South Indian states (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala), and a workshop, whose design involves interactive, participatory sessions amidst community members and other stakeholder expert representatives.
The Nagoya Protocol (NP) on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) emphasizes the need to take into consideration community protocols on access, utilization and benefit sharing with regard to traditional knowledge (TK) associated with genetic resources (GR). Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have high levels of knowledge related to identification of those GR that are utilized in the community for different purposes, especially medicine, food and nutrition, as well as other wellbeing related purposes. This provides a good starting point to raise awareness on sustainable utilization patterns and the potential benefits of establishing value chains with external actors. In particular, it offers an opportunity to explore the development of small and medium scale enterprises that can be developed at the community level through appropriate R&D.
Being one of the pioneering countries in ABS, many examples have been created in India on how IPLCs can participate in ABS and the conservation, protection and valorisation of biodiversity and TK. In Africa too, more and more communities are actively engaging in the protection, conservation and valorisation of their TK and the associated genetic resources, e.g. by elaborating biocultural community protocols (BCPs) or by setting up value chains with external actors on the basis of the ABS principles. IPLCs are also increasingly engaging in national processes of ABS strategy development and the elaboration of the related regulatory frameworks and administrative systems.
The upcoming meeting will bring together about 70 stewards of biodiversity and associated knowledge, especially related to health and wellbeing to discuss the diversity of local innovations in the field of ABS and the conservation, protection and valorisation of biodiversity and TK in India, African countries and Central Asia. The event will offer a unique platform to increase the understanding of the relevance of the CBD principles on ABS and the implementation of the NP at the local level and provide an opportunity for developing partnerships among different stakeholders globally.
Please note that this event will be on invitation only, but we will be sharing all updates here!
Read more about the interconnection between human health and biodiversity conservation in the flagship publication under the CBD joint work programme on biodiversity and health co-led with the World Health Organization here.