Sunday, October 14, 2012

[pima.nius] Fwd: [pacific-journos] CBD COP 11 News

2:12 PM |


Kia orana all,


Below is some news from the CBD COP 11 in Hyderabad, India.  This covers Traditional Knowledge and an intervention made by Fiji as well as the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing with an intervention made by FSM.


For more please visit


Kia manuia,



Traditional knowledge a valuable resource for the Pacific

Article 8. In-situ Conservation

(j) Subject to its national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices;

12 October 2012, CBD COP 11, Hyderabad India - The value of traditional knowledge in the Pacific was acknowledged at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  Known as Article 8J this strengthens the role of traditional knowledge in contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

Fiji presented a statement on behalf of FSM, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Nauru and Tonga:

"Traditional knowledge and culture are important components of biodiversity within these countries. The Pacific island countries including the stated countries are diverse in culture and traditional knowledge which are intricately linked to our livelihoods. Cultural practices and traditional knowledge have enabled the people of these nations to survive on the islands since time immemorial. It is for this reason that the Governments for these countries consider cultural diversity, an important component of the national biodiversity programmes implemented at the national, islands and village levels."

While the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing pertains to the genetic resources and their use, Traditional knowledge is about the innovations, practices and knowledge of local communities around the world.

The Institute of iTaukei Language and Culture is undergoing a Cultural Mapping project working closely with the Department of Environment to look at linkages between Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity.

This project covers all villages within the 14 provinces in Fiji with research teams recording and documenting indigenous knowledge and cultural expressions.  A key objective of these activities is to retrieve important traditional knowledge from the elderly who are often the key repositories of knowledge.

"We proposed on behalf of these countries that we link the role of biodiversity and traditional knowledge to climate change, as traditional knowledge can assist with climate change adaptation," said Sarah Tawaka of the Fiji delegation.

"We also asked that they consider how we can resolve repatriation of traditional knowledge before Article 8J came into force as countries have varying levels of traditional knowledge that was released before Article 8J, we would like to address this."

For more information on Article 8J.


Pacific interest in the Nagoya Protocol

10 October 2012, CBD COP 11, Hyderabad India - Three Pacific island countries, Fiji, FSM and Palau, have signed the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, with Fiji, the fourth country in the process of acceding to the Protocol.

The Federated States of Micronesia announced their agreement to ratify the protocol at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India. 

"The Federated States of Micronesia is thrilled to join its fellow small islands developing state colleague Seychelles in ratifying the Nagoya Protocol.  My delegation is pleased to report to this distinguished body that as of October 1st, 2012 our National Congress adopted a resolution to ratify the Nagoya Protocol and looks forward to depositing our instrument of ratification," presented by Mae Bruton-Adams as the FSM Delegation.

Palau and Vanuatu join FSM in signing the Protocol, but are yet to ratify it.  Fiji is not a signatory but will become a party through acceding to the Protocol.

The Protocol addresses one of the CBD's three objectives – the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources.  It is designed to give developing nations a fairer share on profits made by companies, such as pharmaceutical and cosmetics firms, from their genetic resources.

Prostratin is a compound found in the bark of the mamala tree of Samoa, Homalanthus nutans.  Research has indicated that prostratin has potential to be useful in the treatment of HIV.  The development of compounds called Calanolides, derived from the latex of a tree, Calophyllum species, found in the Malaysian rainforest, as a potential treatment for HIV and certain types of cancer.

Benefits derived from genetic resources may include the result of research and development carried out on those genetic materials, the transfer of technologies which make use of that research, or monetary benefits arising from the commercialisation of products based on those genetic resources.

The protocol recognises that indigenous knowledge should be protected and communities that possess it must be adequately compensated if that knowledge is used for commercial gain.

"Our work will mean that all four states plus the national government are united when it comes to the implementation on the Nagoya Protocol with respect to regulating research and the possibility of users accessing our genetic resources," said Alissa Takesy of the Federated States of Micronesia. 

"We need to fully comprehend their intentions and come to a common understanding on what our genetic resources are utilised for and if they are going to commercialise it, we'd like a process capturing the benefits being reciprocated back to the local communities"

The Nagoya Protocol was adopted on 29 October, 2010 in Japan after six years of negotiations. For more information on 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.

pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand
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