Submitted by admin on Tue, 05/29/2018 - 02:40
May 29, 2018 by admin
Island and Ocean Ecosystems
29 May, 2018 - Solomon Islands is the sixth Pacific island country to ratify the Nagoya Protocol, after the Instrument of Ratification on the third of May this year. Officially named the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the protocol entered into force on October 12 in 2014.

“The ratification is an important achievement for Solomon Islands and the Pacific region as a whole. We congratulate Solomon Islands for taking this step,” said Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

“Our biodiversity is at the core of our Pacific foundation. It has been the basis of our culture and traditions; it is the source of our livelihoods, it helps feed our Pacific families and it also protects our Pacific communities helping to enhance resilience. We congratulate all our Members for their work in conserving our Pacific biodiversity, together.”

By ratifying the protocol, communities and indigenous peoples located where these valuable genetic resources originate will be protected, ensuring they receive a fair share of the benefits from the use of any resources. The Solomon Islands is the sixth Pacific country to ratify the Nagoya Protocol, after Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa.
“This is an important milestone for the Government of the Solomon Islands as the people are closely dependent on biological diversity for survival and livelihoods. Ratifying the Nagoya Protocol will provide more clarity, certainty, and transparency on access to the genetic resources as well as benefit-sharing,” said Mr. Pita Kenilorea Jr, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Solomon Islands.

SolomonIs ABS copy

The SPREP ABS Regional Project is committed to assisting its Pacific Member countries in ratifying the Nagoya Protocol. This will help provide researchers and companies with a set of standards to ensure that the genetic resources in their countries are properly accessed.

“Assistance is needed from both the SPREP ABS Regional Project and the ABS Initiative to review the Protected Areas Act to ensure that scientific communities requesting access to the genetic resources are provided with clear process and procedures to ensure that the benefits arising from research and utilization of resources are shared equally with the Government and the communities, as owners of the resource,” said Dr. Melchior Mataki, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology as he congratulated Cabinet for endorsing the ratification and recognised the support and contribution of regional partners such SPREP and the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Initiative.

Ms. Ofa Kaisamy, Legal Adviser of the SPREP ABS Regional Project, and Dr. Daniel Robinson, Pacific Coordinator for ABS Initiative, were in Honiara from 1- 4 May to assist the Ministry of Environment with the final rounds of consultations on ratification of the Nagoya Protocol and conduct awareness workshops for government agencies and non-government organizations.

Through the ABS Initiative and the SPREP ABS Regional Project, the countries are receiving technical support on the ratification process, drafting of legal mechanisms to regulate access and to ensure benefit-sharing arising from the utilization of the country’s genetic resources are shared in an equitable manner.

Ms. Kaisamy said that “as a part of the ABS process the country must also consider that the access and benefit sharing system is applicable similarly to the traditional knowledge (TK) of the local communities associated to genetic resources. In such a context, the indigenous and local communities are to be always involved in the process.”

Other objectives of the SPREP ABS Regional Project are to promote capacity building and the transfer of appropriate technology to providing parties and to promote awareness of the implementation of relevant provisions of the CBD.