Implementing the Nagoya Protocol in Cameroon: First steps taken towards adopting the draft bill on ABS in Cameroon
On the fourth of June two thousand and nineteen, the Commission room of the National Assembly in Yaounde hosted a “Knowledge sharing workshop for Parliamentarians and experts on implementing a legal framework for access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their use (ABS) in Cameroon).
With the support of the ProPFE Programme and the German Technical Cooperation’s (GIZ), Regional Project to support COMIFAC, the Cameroonian Chapter of the Parliamentarian Network for Sustainable Management of Central African Forest Ecosystems (REPAR-Cameroon) organized a workshop for parliamentarians and experts to share experiences on implementing a legal framework for ABS in Cameroon. The meeting drew close to fifty participants, including: Parliamentarians (MPs and Senators who are members of REPAR) representatives of the Ministry of Environment, nature Protection and Sustainable development, the representative of the Minister Delegate to the Presidency in charge of Relations with the Assemblies, development partners (GIZ-ProPFE, GIZ-COMIFAC, UNDP), traditional chiefs, civil society organizations, experts and the press.
Chaired by Mr. HELE Pierre, Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), the overall aim was to educate the Parliamentarians on what it takes to implement a legal framework for the ABS mechanism in Cameroon.
Its specific objectives were to (i) improve the Parliamentarians’ understanding of the challenges of providing a legal framework for the ABS mechanism (ii) present the parliamentarians with the main options and guidelines contained in the draft law (iii) present the legal architecture for the legal framework of the ABS and lastly (iv) to enlist support from more Parliamentarians for the adoption of a legal framework for ABS.
In line with the agenda, the deliberations followed a three (03) session format: an opening session, (ii) a technical session entailing presentations and discussions, (iii) a closing ceremony which included speeches and the reading of the Press Release.
With a view to ensuring a sound understanding and effective follow up on the adoption of the draft ABS bill, REPAR-Cameroon is making plans to carry out the following post-workshop parliamentary actions:
- Set up an ad-hoc working group;
- Build the capacities of relevant commissions in both houses of parliament on the theme;
- Align planned measures with ongoing ABS initiatives (Regional Project to support ABS, UNDP’s ABS project, the Bio-innovation project....)