An international workshop to strengthen access and benefit sharing of genetic resources (ABS) among ASEAN member nations was held in Hanoi on November 20.

Jointly organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), the event aims to bring benefits to stakeholders who have livelihoods depending on biodiversity.

Nguyen The Dong, Deputy Director of the General Department of Environment said the event is a good chance for ASEAN countries to share achievements reached in their national action plans on ABS, while further increasing their understanding of ABS related issues, which are required to be solved at regional and national levels.

ACB Managing Director Atty.V.Roberto Oliva said the workshop is the last one in a series of similar events in the region under a project to strengthen the capacity of Southeast Asian countries to hasten ABS programmes through their country’s legal systems.

At the event, experts working in the ABS field suggested that countries build a legal system ensuring access and use of gene sources as well as preservation of genetic resources and the sharing of benefits from the use of gene sources.

The system should include regulations on contracts between gene providers, particularly countries with rich bio-diversity, and users which include industrial sectors and research facilities. The proceeds from the signed contracts will contribute importantly to conserving biodiversity, thus promoting poverty reduction for stakeholders joining the biodiversity preservation.

At the previous regional workshops held in the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia, the countries were provided with knowledge about ABS and the Nagoya Protocol on ABS and taught the tools to use when identifying stakeholders and their capacity to develop and implement national ABS frameworks.

Vietnam became a member of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1994, but the country has not ratified the Nagoya Protocol on accessing genetic sources and sharing the benefit from using genetic sources.

The country is working to assess its policy and law system as well as the country’s management capacity in ABS to implement the regulations of the Law on Biodiversity, towards becoming a member of the Nagoya Protocol in the coming time.-VNA