Developing a Comprehensive Framework for Practical Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol

Kimheang Tuon/UNDP Cambodia
Published: 11 January 2023
Last edited: 11 January 2023
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Summary

In Cambodia, access and benefits-sharing (ABS) is a newly emerging issue; there is a need for capacity building and awareness-raising at all levels, and a need to bolster communication, networking, and policy. Cambodia has ratified the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, and is developing legislation, frameworks, regulations, and national policies on ABS. This effort will generate long term guidance on the issues of capacity building and ABS implementation, and will help achieve the three objectives of the CBD. ABS legislation will inspire action and increase biodiversity knowledge among all stakeholders. Cambodia's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) will: Strengthen communication, education and public awareness on ABS; develop and implement ABS legislation; and enhance the enabling environment for the development of ABS legislation and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

Classifications

Region
Southeast Asia
Scale of implementation
Local
National
Subnational
Ecosystem
Agro-ecosystem
Agroforestry
Cropland
Forest ecosystems
Tropical deciduous forest
Tropical evergreen forest
Theme
Sustainable livelihoods
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Genetic Conservation
Challenges
Drought
Erratic rainfall
Extreme heat
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Inefficient management of financial resources
Changes in socio-cultural context
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation
Social conflict and civil unrest

Location

Phnom Kulen National Park, Siem Reap District, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Challenges

as the country continues to manage its transition from a subsistence-based agrarian economy to a consumption-based cash economy, its biological resources are increasingly under threat. These threats include competing for land use from urbanization and infrastructure, poaching of wild plants and animals, overharvesting of forest products, and the effects of climate change. Furthermore, Cambodia is facing the loss of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.

 

To counter these various threats to biodiversity, this project aims to strengthen national capacities for access to benefit sharing of Cambodia’s genetic resources. To achieve this objective, the project supports the creation of an enabling national policy, legal and institutional framework consistent with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol.

Beneficiaries

  • Decision-makers / legislators
  • National authorities
  • National ABS Focal Point
  • National Competent Authority
  • Sub-technical ABS Working Groups
  • Indigenous peoples / local communities
  • Genetic resources / traditional knowledge providers
  • ABS cooperation partners
  • End-users

How do the building blocks interact?

There exists a clear link between sustainable biodiversity use and economic growth.

 

Supporting governments, local communities and the private sector to develop national Access and Benefit-Sharing frameworks, build capacities, and harness the potential of genetic resources, helps safeguard traditional knowledge and protect unique biodiversity.

 

Developing policies that support this, and building capacity for the local communities that are on the ground, are essential in planning and delivering novel products for the agriculture, crop protection, pharmaceutical, personal care and food/beverage industries.

Impacts

NP-ABS in Cambodia requires a comprehensive assessment of existing traditional knowledge for fair and equitable benefit-sharing. Indigenous peoples and local communities require information on legal aspects. Knowledge of existing biodiversity is essential in developing agreements under the NP. Thus, there is a great deal of interest in ABS legislation among stakeholders, who are working on the valuation of Cambodia’s biodiversity, partnering with scientists throughout the region.

Sub-technical Working Groups were established to assure the effectiveness of NP implementation in the use of ABS to coordinate and provide technical support to the National Council for Sustainable Development for the management and conservation of biodiversity. The concept of ABS is new in Cambodia, and there is a need to inform and build expertise in the country. Community participation in the development and implementation of any ABS legislation is essential. Government institutions, indigenous peoples and local communities all play important roles in conserving and managing natural resources.

The Ministry of Environment (MoE) is developing the Environment and Natural Resources Code, which includes prerequisites for ABS regulations. To accelerate the process, the country is considering the possibility of adopting an interim procedure to codify ABS. The MoE developed the Sub-degree on ABS, awaiting endorsement by parliament.

Story

UNDP Cambodia

https://undp-biodiversity.exposure.co/the-new-gold-rush-bioprospecting

 

Bioprospecting for biodiversity: Protecting Cambodia’s rich natural resources and promoting sustainable equitable and fair biodiversity use

 

The Gold Rush

Rather than hunting for metals and minerals, bioprospecting is the exploration of plant and animal species - and utilization of their genetic resources - for use in pharmaceutical, biochemicals, and a wide array of commercially viable products.

 

Crucially, bioprospecting takes a sustainable approach to bringing economic benefits to communities that otherwise would be engaged in ecologically detrimental extractive activities. 

 

A rich vein of natural gold

Cambodia’s rich biodiversity - and its associated genetic resources - make it an attractive country for bioprospecting, especially given the high number of known medicinal plants. However, indigenous and local communities were previously left out from fair and equitable benefit sharing.

 

As the country continues to manage its transition from a subsistence agriculture-based economy to an agro-industrial economy , its biological resources are increasingly under threat. These threats include competing for land use from urbanization and infrastructure, poaching of wild plants and animals, overharvesting of forest products, and the effects of climate change. Furthermore, Cambodia is facing the loss of traditional knowledge associated with priceless genetic resources.

 

Pioneers of prospecting

To counter these various threats to biodiversity, the UNDP-supported, GEF-financed project, Developing a Comprehensive Framework for Practical Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Cambodia, is working to strengthen the country’s capacity for access to benefit sharing vis-à-vis Cambodia’s genetic resources.

 

Working in partnership with the General Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development, the project supports the creation of an enabling national policy, as well as legal and institutional frameworks consistent with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol.

 

Supporting this framework, the Royal Government of Cambodia, the private sector and research institutions, and the traditional owners of these resources and its derived traditional knowledge, will work together to protect Cambodia's unique biological resources.

Contributed by

andrea.egan_41673's picture

Andrea Egan United Nations Development Programme