The Nagoya Protocol and its access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation under the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international agreement. Fiji has ratified the Nagoya protocol in 2011 but has been using an ad-hoc Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) policy consistent with the Convention on Biological Diversity and developed under the IAS’s International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) programme as a precursor to draw up a legal framework especially for bioprospecting. Since 2014, the Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) started a collaborative Global Environment Facility (GEF) project aimed at the establishment of a legal framework for Fiji’s ABS policy with key government line agencies of Ministry of Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport (MLHE), the Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs (MTA) and the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests (MoFF).
Global Environment Facility through the United Nations Development Programme
- Government of Fiji
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Scripps Institution of Oceanography
The objective for each of the lead agencies under the project are:
- IAS – Discovering active compounds for pharmaceutical and agrochemical uses from organisms within the ecosystems of Fiji.
- MOE – Operationalization of ABS Agreements and Benefit Sharing
- MTA – Increased national capacity to operationalize Nagoya Protocol
- Launching of the Pacific Bioprospecting Samples Database
- Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) awareness workshop with government stakeholders held in the Tikina of Ono, Kadavu in February 2018
- 2 Free Prior Informed Consent Consultation visits to Nacula Island, Yasawa Islands and Beqa Island in 2017
- Collection of samples in Kadavu, Yasawa and BeqaContribution to ABS National Consultation Workshop held in April at the Pearl Resort
- Collections of samples at Suva Seashore (74 Micro and 3 Macro samples), Nacula Island (114 micro and 31 macro samples) in 2017
- 835 Marine microbial isolates, 472 marine microbial extracts
- Overarching MOU between USP and Fiji Government ministries on bioprospecting is in progress
- MOU between GIFU and USP signed
- Purchase of major equipment, apparatuses and solvents for the PNPRC Laboratory.