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The African Union Commission (AUC) hosted the Expert Guidance Committee of the project, comprised of the National Focal Points for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and the Nagoya Protocol from both Madagascar and Benin, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and ITPGRFA Secretariats, the AUC, the ABS Capacity Development Initiative and Bioversity International, to hold its fourth and last meeting  during the first year of implementation of the project. Only the representative of the ITPGRFA Secretariat could not be there.

The meeting took place almost exactly one year after the project started and therefore constituted a perfect opportunity and provided the space for sharing the experiences, views and main challenges faced by the national teams during this first year of life of the project and to start planning the way forward over year 2.

Some of the tangible outcomes of the first year of implementation of the Darwin Initiative Project were the development of the following documents by the national partners.

Baseline studies: The national steering committees of the project coordinated the conduction of an exercise to syntheses baseline information for identifying implementation options. Main findings during the development of the syntheses were presented during national and local workshops. Among other things, the syntheses cover:  

  • the state of biological diversity conservation, and potential interventions to safeguard threatened diversity; 
  • who is most likely to be interested in gaining access to which kinds of genetic resources in the country for what purposes; 
  • past genetic resources collecting and access and benefit-sharing agreements;
  • existing laws and policies affecting access and benefit-sharing, conservation and sustainable use;
  • institutions influencing participation of indigenous, local and farming communities and women’s groups in decision-making concerning genetic resources and traditional knowledge;
  • areas where high levels of biodiversity coincide with high levels of rural poverty;
  • areas under stress where introduction of genetic diversity from elsewhere could address local peoples’ vulnerabilities (e.g. crop production damaged by climate change and natural disaster).

The baseline studies are available under the following links:

‘Spin off’ policy briefs related to policy options and processes that need to be followed to put systems in place in each country. The policy briefs were based on the outcomes of national meetings organized by the both national steering committees of the project and designed to raise awareness about the CBD/NP and the ITPGRFA/MLS, and to get feedback from stakeholders about implementation options for combinations of policy, law and institutional mechanisms, from local to national levels, to implement access and benefit sharing obligations and opportunities pursuant to the CBD/NP and ITPGRFA involving local communities in governance/decision-making.

The ‘Spin off’ policy briefs are available under the following links:

  • ‘Spin off’ policy brief Benin (CCAFS Info Note)
  • ‘Spin off’ policy brief Madagascar (CCAFS Info Note)

Roadmap: As a result of the national meetings described above, the steering committees of both countries contributed to the development of a combined roadmap for Benin and Madagascar outlining a portfolio of legislation, policies and guidelines and complementary research and capacity building activities which need to be developed over life of project.

The resulting roadmap is available in English and in French.

 

This project is conducted with the support of the Darwin Initiative - a UK Government Funded Programme. It is carried out in collaboration with the ABS Capacity Development Initiative, the Secretariats of the CBD and the ITPGRFA and the AUC. It is delivered through the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and through Bioversity International.