The Governments of the Dominican Republic, Germany and Costa Rica held the launching ceremony of the project Strengthening Capacities for the Application of the Principles of Access to Genetic and Biochemical Resources Derived from Biodiversity, as well as for Benefit Sharing (ABS) in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.
The initiative is carried out through the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, together with the National Commission for Biodiversity Management (CONAGEBIO), the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy of Costa Rica, in collaboration with the German Development Cooperation, GIZ.
This two-way triangular cooperation project aims to strengthen and promote the application of ABS principles in the productive sectors that use genetic and biochemical resources and their derivatives in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. ABS (Access and Benefit Sharing) seeks to ensure that the distribution of benefits, whether economic or not, resulting from the use of these resources is fair and equitable throughout the value chain.
The project will be implemented on the basis of the experiences developed by both countries, with Germany as facilitating country, which demonstrates the joint interest in positioning the application of ABS principles in the different productive sectors of both countries through synergies between business networks, the private sector and the government, as well as supporting different stakeholders in obtaining the ABS label, with a multi-stakeholder and gender approach.
The event was led by Alexis Cruz, Vice Minister of Economic and Social Analysis of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development; Federico Franco, Vice Minister of Protected Areas and Biodiversity of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and Volker Pellet, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Dominican Republic. In addition, Saskia Rodríguez, Director of International Cooperation of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy, together with Franklin Paniagua, Vice-Minister of Environment of the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica.
In this regard, Vice Minister Cruz said that this initiative reveals the importance of making efforts to streamline and create synergies with the private sector and local organizations, in order to advance in the strengthening of regulatory, institutional, administrative and implementation instruments of ABS principles.
Franco, Vice Minister of the Environment, said that German international cooperation, through the GIZ, has played a fundamental role in strengthening regional ties in the area of Access to Genetic Resources of biodiversity. He indicated that the development of this project will have good results, contributing to the consolidation of nations in the ABS issue, capable of facing together the challenges and achieving the transforming change to which we all aspire.
The German Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Volker Pellet, said that the design of this triangular cooperation project is an initiative in favor of the environment and biodiversity with countries that have a unique nature that must be protected.
Within the framework of strengthening public-private partnerships, the Asociación Empresarial para el Desarrollo (AED) and the company Lisan S.A., through its natural division Lisanatura, of Costa Rica, will support positioning in the different productive sectors through knowledge management on this topic and the transfer of Lisan’s experience in obtaining the first ABS label in that country.
The experience on the identification of the Dominican Republic’s checkpoints for the traceability of biodiversity samples will be strengthened, transferred and adapted in Costa Rica, and Costa Rica will transfer to the Dominican Republic the experience of developing an ABS label. The procedures and obtaining of permits for access and use of genetic resources and their derivatives in both countries will also be improved and strengthened, as well as shared with the rest of the countries in the region.
Finally, as part of this project launching mission, a planning workshop was held to establish the 2022 action plan for the implementation of project activities, as well as a visit to the municipality of Neiba to learn about a Dominican experience that is relevant to this project on the breeding of the blue scorpion, from which its venom is extracted for medicinal purposes.