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Launch of the ABS Management Tool Side Event ABS Working Group 6 Meeting Geneva January 22, 2008. ABS Best Practice Standard + Handbook. Sponsored by SECO Developed by: IISD, Stratos Inc., Jorge Cabrera. Event Purpose. Introduce and launch the ABS Management Tool – Final version

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abs best practice standard handbook

Launch of the

ABS Management Tool

Side Event

ABS Working Group 6 Meeting


January 22, 2008

ABS Best Practice Standard + Handbook

Sponsored by SECO

Developed by:

IISD, Stratos Inc., Jorge Cabrera

event purpose
Event Purpose
  • Introduce and launch the ABS Management Tool – Final version
  • Discuss use of the ABS-MT as:
    • A voluntary best practice standard to facilitate ABS activities
    • An instrument for capacity building + sharing of best practices
background to the abs mt
Background to the ABS-MT

The Swiss government’s purpose with this project is to develop a management tool to support the implementation of the provisions of the CBD on access and Benefit Sharing:

  • Facilitating access - providing guidance to industry and researchers as users of genetic resources
  • Ensuring prior informed consent and fair and equitable sharing of benefits – for governments and communities as providers of genetic resources
history of involvement
History of Involvement
  • Co-chair ABS Expert Panel (1999/2000)
  • Study on certification system - bio prospecting (2001)
  • Swiss Guidelines (Inf. doc) as an input to Bonn Guidelines (2002)
  • Good Practice for Academic Research on Genetic Resources – Swiss Academy of Sciences (2005)
  • Development and testing of ABS MT (2004 – 2007)
  • Publication of ABS-Management Tool (2008)
importance of this new tool
Importance of this new Tool
  • Support implementation of the Bonn Guidelines and International Regime
  • Responds to the ABS capacity building action plan (COP decision VII/19f)
  • Encourage commercial opportunities for access and development of genetic resources – under agreed terms
abs management tool project
ABS Management Tool Project

Phase 1 (2003 - 2004)

  • Research on ABS and other standards
  • Development of working draft Management Tool
  • International Advisory Committee

Phase 2 (2004 – 2007)

  • Field Testing
  • Outreach and stakeholder consultations
  • Assessment of implementation options
  • Revision and finalization of the ABS-MT
  • International Advisory Committee

Phase 3 (ABS WG 5 2007 – March 2008)

  • International consultation on implementation and use
abs management tool project7
ABS Management Tool Project

Supported by

Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)

Executed by

International Institute for Sustainable Development

Stratos Inc.

Jorge Cabrera


project activities
Project Activities

Development of the Management Tool:

  • Working Draft + User Guide – 2004
  • Revised Working Draft – 2006
  • Best Practice Standard and Handbook – 2007
    • Online accessibility in English, French and Spanish

Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement

Field Testing of the ABS – MT

Design of an Implementation Plan and TOR

outreach and feedback
Outreach and Feedback
  • CBD Forums
  • Industry
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Governments
  • Researchers
  • NGOs
  • International ABS Practitioners Workshop
    • Costa Rica
  • International stakeholder meeting on implementation and use at ABS WG 5
testing the management tool in practice
Testing the Management Tool in Practice
  • Field Tests
    • Use of the ABS-MT in new ABS negotiations (project level)
      • Australia
      • Bolivia
      • Cameroon
      • Malaysia
      • Tanzania
lessons learned abs trends
Lessons Learned – ABS Trends
  • Need for capacity building – governments, Indigenous peoples, other communities, companies
  • Growing areas of activity
      • Bulk collection of genetic/biological resources – cosmetics, herbal medicines
      • Micro-organisms, plants, animals with novel enzymes
      • New environments – marine, severe environmental conditions
      • Large companies re-engaging – but through researchers
  • Strong demand for international guidance
      • By governments, industry, research institutions + communities
what the abs mt provides
What the ABS – MT Provides
  • Voluntary best practice standard and handbook provides neutral guidance and tools on ABS practice for Users and Providers to ensure compliance with the Bonn Guidelines and CBD requirements
  • A structured process and fair and equitable means for participating in and making decisions about ABS negotiations and the implementation of ABS agreements
application of the abs mt
Application of the ABS – MT
  • The ABS-MT applies to all stages of genetic resource activity:
    • Prior to access
    • Access (collection and bio-discovery)
    • Academic research
    • Research and development
    • Commercialization and commercial use
  • The ABS-MT is relevant to many sectors:
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Botanicals + Neutraceuticals
    • Biotechnology
    • Horticulture including ornamentals
    • Agriculture (except where the FAO ITGRFA applies)
application of the abs mt15
Application of the ABS – MT

The ABS-MT can be used by:

Large and small companies


Local and indigenous communities

Academic researchers – where future potential for commercial interest

Public and private research institutions

Holders of ex situ collections e.g. gardens, genetic resource collections



management processes
Management Processes
  • Use in an Organization’s Management System or Procedures
  • Other Management Considerations:
    • The Participation of Indigenous and Local Communities
    • Documentation and Information-management sharing
    • Reporting
    • Emerging Practices on Certificate of Origin/Compliance with National Law
abs mt decision making
ABS – MT Decision Making


the handbook
The Handbook
  • Part 1: Good Practice Guidance
  • Part 2: Supporting Tools
    • Roadmap of interaction with national legal frameworks
    • ABS agreement matrix for GR users
    • Material transfer agreements
    • Model contract outline
    • Guidance on negotiating strategies
    • Links to sector-specific guidelines
  • Part 3: Case Studies
use of the abs mt24
Use of the ABS - MT
  • A voluntary best practice standard to facilitate ABS negotiations between users and providers of genetic resources
  • A substantive basis for building capacity with national governments, companies, researchers and communities
  • A mechanism for sharing of best practices
implementation of the abs management tool
Implementation of the ABS – Management Tool
  • Main Activities
  • Practical Use of the ABS-MT
  • Capacity building
  • Sharing of Best Practices

Strategic Elements


Technical Support

Instrument for training + capacity building

Practitioners Network

interest and use of the abs mt
Interest and use of the ABS-MT
  • Industry e.g.
    • Japan Bio industry Association (JBA)
    • Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
  • International and development organizations e.g.
    • German – Dutch ABS Capacity Building programme
    • IUCN – The World Conservation Union
    • International Development Research Centre
  • Government
    • Australia’s Northern Territory Government
  • Research institutions e.g.
    • Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Other best practice standards
    • BioTrade Facilitation Program (BTFP)
    • International Standard on Sustainable Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (IUCN/WWF/BfN)
next steps
Next Steps
  • Successful investment made by government of Switzerland in the development and testing of the ABS-MT
  • The ABS-MT is ready as a neutral platform for:
    • Facilitating user-provider negotiations; and
    • Capacity building for governments and others
  • The ABS-MT is ready for use by governments and different stakeholders
  • How can governments and different stakeholders use the ABS-MT for user-provider negotiations and for capacity building?
    • Governments;
    • International organizations;
    • Research institutions;
    • Companies and industry associations; and
    • Biodiversity owners and managers, including local and indigenous communities.