Since 2006, we have been supporting the multi-donor ABS Capacity Development Initiative with conceptual contributions, expert inputs and the design of cooperation and dialogue processes with a wide range of actors and institutions. Suhel al-Janabi, CEO of GeoMedia, also serves as co-manager of the Initiative.
In the early years, the ABS Initiative focused on fostering the capacities of African stakeholders and negotiators to deal with the wide range of ABS-related issues, develop constructive relationships between the different stakeholders, and find common views and positions in the negotiations for an international ABS regime.
In 2010, the Nagoya Protocol on ABS was adopted at the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). One of the great successes, to which the ABS Initiative had contributed, was that “Africa spoke with one voice” in the negotiations for this Protocol.
Since then, the focus of the Initiative has shifted to supporting national implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Africa as well as in the Caribbean and Pacific regions. Capacity development activities address issues such as institutional arrangements, domestic ABS regulations, traditional knowledge, ABS-compliant value chains, strategic communication and many more.
Since 2019, the ABS Initiative has also been intensely involved in supporting international dialogues on Digital Sequence Information (DSI), one of the key issues in the negotiations for the new Global Biodiversity Framework, which is expected be adopted at CBD COP 15 in Kunming, China.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the ABS Capacity Development Initiative in 2016, GeoMedia helped produce a video compilation of its wide range of activities.