Genetic Resources: Experts Advocate Equitable Benefit-Sharing

A workshop to launch the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol took place on October 6, 2016 in Yaounde.

 

Biodiversity experts, parliamentarians, traditional rulers, civil society amongst others converged on the Yaounde Mount Febe Hotel on October 6, 2016 to outline the legal framework of the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing. The Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, Hele Pierre, who opened the workshop to launch activities for the implementation of the protocol underscored the importance  of the convention to Cameroon and the sub-region which he said is a biodiversity hotspot.

The Biodiversity Convention, the Minister said, focuses on three main axes notably conservation, sustainable management and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the utilisation of genetic resources. He said the ratification of the protocol by the Head of State tells the importance he attaches to the wellbeing of the population.

An expert in the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development who doubles as the Focal Point person of the Nagoya Protocol, William Bunyen hinted that the protocol was adopted in Japan because many countries raised concerns about the use of genetic resources to produce certain products like drugs for instance, being sold across the world without the fair-sharing of the benefits derived from it.

The Yaounde workshop, he stressed, was therefore to sensitise local stakeholders on the imminent law that will be enacted for accessing and exploitation of genetic resources. It will protect the interest of the local population who most often sell these resources at very cheap prices and later buy products derived from it at exorbitant prices. 

 

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