From 4th to 6th June 2018, Helvetas BioTrade project staff and Center for Rural Economy Development (CRED) had an opportunity to attend a regional workshop on Access and Benefits Sharing (ABS) with the topic “BioTrade: from sustainable sourcing to equitable benefit sharing”.
The workshop also had the attendance of Helvetas BioTrade project teams from Laos, Myanmar as well as from Switzerland and representatives of Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), HAFL, Government institutions and experts from Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar and State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Learning content of each day includes a common understanding of internationally agreed concepts, principles and legislation frameworks (day 1); opportunities and challenges with access and benefit-sharing mechanisms (day 2); field trip and Internal Planning Discussions (day 3)
During the 3-day-workshop, participants had a shared understanding about the significance and application of current concepts and international legal frameworks related to BioTrade, Access and Benefits Sharing (ABS), and the Nagoya Protocol. Participants also developed, based on two cases, potential models for a) sustainable management of wild and domesticated plants, and b) potential benefit-sharing mechanism for common pool resources and domesticated plants (private goods); Lastly, participants elaborated an action plan identifying the main required elements for the implementation of the potential model.
On the last day, Participant traveled to Pha Tad Ke Botanical garden in the morning, where they got a chance to see examples of the biodiversity of northern Laos. While visiting the botanical gardens and learning about the different species, participants were introduced to species known to have traditional uses in Lao PDR and which may have potential for commercialization.