ABS is genetic resources for sustainable development

05 Dec 2018
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Contributions from South Africa

"ABS is genetic resources for sustainable development" is a publication that illustrates the impact of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) and national ABS laws/policies on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, this legal framework, is being used by the private sector, researchers, indigenous peoples, and local communities from 27 countries to develop innovative products that contribute to the implementation of the SDGs. 

The South African chapter is one of 27 biodiscovery stories and takes the reader through how traditional knowledge, science, technology, and human ingenuity have been used to develop novel products from genetic resources. Eyewitnesses and sustainable development advocates provide a personal account of impacts of the biodiscovery case, including a reflection on key challenges and how they were overcome. The chapter is authored by experts and practitioners from government, a private company, indigenous peoples, local communities and UNDP.

The full publication illustrates efforts supported by UNDP and the Global Environment Facility and carried out by countries. It underscores that genetic resources are accelerators of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Genetic resources are contributing to poverty alleviation (SDG 1), food security (SDG 2), good health and wellbeing (SDG 3), gender equality (SDG 5), innovation (SDG 9) and life on land (SDG 15), just to name a few. Furthermore, the biodiscovery stories are excellent examples of national and international partnerships (SDG 17) needed to promote all the SDGs.

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