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    UNU-IAS Report:The Central Asia and Mongolia Bioresources and Biosecurity Network--Capacity Development on Access to Genetic Resources, Benefit–Sharing, and Biosafety in Central Asia and Mongolia

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    [摘要]Recent developments in international law and policy have made access to genetic resources,and benefit–sharing (ABS), protection of traditional knowledge, and biosafety the most prominent topics currently under negotiation in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002 called for the negotiation of an international regime on ABS as a step to the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity, as a step toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals to reduce extreme poverty and hunger.1 The promotion and protection of traditional knowledge is a topic under discussion in many international for a, including the CBD, the World Intellectual Property Rights Organization (WIPO), and the World Trade Organization. Meanwhile, the entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol and the convening of the first Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2004 has raised the profile of biosafety issues.
    Central Asia and Mongolia are rich in both genetic resources and traditional knowledge. The region is the origin of many wild cultivars of domesticated crops of importance to the world, such as apricots and walnuts, as well as of endemic medicinal plants such as liquorice and Trans–Caspian thyme.
    The countries of the region exhibit many geographical and climactic similarities, such as arid and semi–arid and mountainous ecosystems and a strong continental climate. However, each contains a certain uniqueness in its ecosystem make–up. Mongolia, for instance, is characterised by permafrost areas and features less than 1 per cent arable land2 and therefore a rich nomadic culture based on livestock breeding. Tajikistan features five different climate zones and twenty–five kinds of ecosystems.3 80 per cent of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are covered by deserts. 94 per cent of the Kyrgyz Republic is above an altitude of 1000 meters, characterised by largely un–infringed ecosystems, which are home to large birds of prey and snow leopards.4 The Republic of Kazakhstan on the other hand with its vast territory (the nineth largest worldwide) has ecosystems including mountains, steppe, wetlands, and deserts.
    These conditions have given rise to unique, but fragile ecosystems and diverse biological resources capable of surviving under extreme conditions, offering interesting potential for bioprospecting activities. However, as countries of the region have a per capita income of less than US$2 a day for large parts of the population,5 the primary concern is poverty alleviation and development. The challenge to maintain their biodiversity is further exacerbated by growing economic pressures, such as mining, hydro–electric power projects, agriculture and the absence of a legal framework to regulate ABS, protect traditional knowledge and govern the production, transport,
    use and handling of genetically modified organisms.
    Together with the countries of the region, UNU-IAS has embarked upon a capacity development programme. To date, two regional workshops have been held. The first workshop, “In Search of Biosecurity: Capacity–Building on Access to Genetic Resources, Benefit–Sharing and Biosafety in Central Asia and Mongolia”, in July 2002 in Mongolia provided an introduction to the relevant multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) to policy makers and scientific experts from the region and offered a first platform for identification of priority actions. During the second workshop, “Biosecurity II: Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit–Sharing, Traditional Knowledge, and Biosafety in Central Asia and Mongolia”, representatives of government, academia and NGOs discussed in detail their capacity–building needs and the resulting answer, the establishment of the network.
    As part of this process, experts that have been designated by national governments were invited to prepare country reports on the status of national biodiversity, law and policy, institutional capacity, and capacity development needs.
    The most prominent capacity development needs of the region, include the following:
    • To build political support and allocation of funding for environmental concerns such as biodiversity conservation;
    • Strengthen the weak legislative base;
    • Overcome the lack of adequate information and limited access to information;
    • Build appropriate scientific and technical expertise with regards to the establishment of ABS and biosafety frameworks;
    • Promote institutional coordination within governments and between governments and stakeholders;
    • Develop the ability to overcome difficulties in accessing and availability of funding;
    • Design mechanisms to reduce direct economic pressure on ecosystems and secure increased recognition of conservation needs in national budget allocations;
    • The need for increased public education and awareness;
    • The need for support for the promotion and protection of traditional knowledge;
    • Build capacity for participation in international negotiations.
    The workshops led to the establishment of a Central Asia and Mongolia Bioresources and Biosecurity Network with the principal aim of assisting Central Asian countries and Mongolia to conserve and sustainably use their biological diversity through the exchange of: scientific, technical, environmental, and legal information, case studies, best practices, and experiences on issues relating to biodiversity, biosafety, biosecurity, and bioresources.
    Over the coming two years, the formal establishment and implementation of the network will take place. The priorities of the network for this biennium are to build awareness of the relevant international context, exchange information, educate and raise awareness of the issues, and to strengthen the legislative basis. This work will be promoted by an interim secretariat located in the Kyrgyz Republic, with the support of an international advisory council and UNU-IAS. The work will be supported by an interactive, bilingual, English and Russian multi–authored website, to be maintained by the Mongolian Academy of Sciences. The network will establish working groups of legal experts and professionals to analyse existing legislation on ABS, traditional knowledge, biosafety and intellectual property, to study international experiences, and to make recommendations to strengthen the legislative basis.
     
    Report Data :
    Author: United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies
    Date: May 2003/February 2004
     

    作者:United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies 来源:http://www.ias.unu.edu 发布时间:2011年08月08日