The meeting which was based on the implementation of Nagoya protocol on ABS with regards to strengthening the capacity of member states and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the conservation and sustainable use of African Animal Genetic Resources in West Africa was organized by AU-IBAR at LeNdiahbour Hotels, Dakar-Senegal from 29th to 31st October, 2015.
Involved in the meeting were the National coordinator of zoogenetic resources for West Africa, Focal Points of the AU-IBAR Genetic Project, the Director General of Animal Production, Directors of Animal Production in the Ministries of Agriculture as well as representatives of Institutions at sub-regional, regional and international levels such as CIRDES, ITA/WALIC, CORAF/WECARD, AU-IBAR and Independent Consultants
The meeting was opened officially by the minister of Livestock and Animal Production of the Federal Republic of Senegal and also part of the opening ceremony were Dr. Mamoud O. Sakho – secretary general of the ministry, Dr. SimpliceNouala who represented the Director of AU-IBAR and also Dr. KagoneHamadeh who represented CORAF/WECARD and is also the Coordinator of the sub-regionalFocal Point for the management of Animal Genetic Resources in West Africa.
2. OBJECTIVES OF THE MEETING
The objectives of the 2nd G.A. meeting were:
(a) To select the institutions that will house the regional Gene Bank for West Africa
(b) To provide a mechanism that will sustain the Gene Bank
(c) To unanimously agree on what tobe taken into account regarding the policy and regulatory framework
(d) To agree on the process of developing these instruments
(e) To review the progress made and the prospects for the implementation of the 2014-2016 action plan for AnGR in west Africa.
3. MEETING IN PROGRESS
Two stages of the meeting were conducted involving the General Assembly held from 29-30th Oct., 2015 and the Steering Committee meeting which took place on 31st, Oct., 2015
Various presentations were made in the General Assembly which include:
(a) The establishment of regional gene bank for West Africa
(b) The implementation of the Nagoya protocol in West Africa
(c) The impact of cross breeding and the selection program
(d) The state of Animal Genetic Resources in West Africa
(e) The regional frame work for the monitoring of trends
(f) The formulation of regional policy, process, role and responsibilities of stakeholders
Participants organized in groups during the plenary session, considered the themes relating to the following :
(a) Regional Policy and the legislative framework on cross-breeding :- issues, challenges and opportunities for action
(b) The Conservation and management of trans-boundary breeds:- issues, challenges, opportunities and policy options
The Steering Committee of S-RFP in West Africa was also held
4. THE OUTCOMES OF THE MEETING
Participants were able to reach the following conclusions at the end of deliberations in the 2nd G.A. :-
(a) Establishment of regional gene bank for West Africa: CIRDES was retained by G.A. to host a regional gene bank for West Africa based on its institutional capacity assessment after listening to the statement made by the representative of CIRDES on the centre’sexperience in the field of animal genetic resources.
The decision was reached with a recommendation to put in place a mechanism for collaboration between CIRDES and ITC/WALIC and other Institutions hosting gene banks in the sub-region
AU-IBAR and CORAF/WECARD are mandated to work on the suitable options for back- up to regional gene bank. ECOWAS involvement for the sustainability of the gene banks was also strongly emphasized on .
(b) The implementation of the Nagoya protocol in West Africa: As a result of the conclusion of the presentation by experts on the Nagoya protocol which focuses on access to genetic resources, fair and equitable sharing of benefits accruing from their use which is an international agreement on biodiversity with one of the objective being to fight against biopiracy, the G.A. made the following recommendations:-
· Encourage and stimulate discussions at national and regional levels between all actors involved in the management of AnGR and the ABS for the effective implementation of Nagoya protocol in West Africa
· Develop policies and agreements related to the exchange of genetic materials and ABS
· Establish a continental data base of legal expertsin biodiversity and conservation
· Mobilize financial resources for the implementation of the developed regional action plans
· ECOWAS in conjunction with AU to follow up the action plan at the level of member States
(c) The impact of cross-breeding and selection programs:- The recommendation of the G.A. on the development of a regional policy frame work for the improvement and conservation of AnGR within ECOWAS came after the analysis of the negative impact of cross-breeding programs on the conservation of indigenous breeds and also the absence of legal texts for genetic improvement in most member states
(d) The state of AnGR in West Africa :- The focal points of the lagging countries have been urged by the G.A. to send the requested information (completed questionnaires, photographs of different breeds, policy and legal documents) and to submit the invoices for payment as soon as possible
5. GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS
· The G.A. to seek an effective financial support from member States, RECs, and the development partners for resource mobilization that will enable the sustainable operations of S-RFP
· The G.A. recommended continuation of information, awareness raising and advocacy actions with member States, RECs, Farmers’ Organizations and all other stakeholders on the Economic, Social and environmental importance of animal genetic resources.
The meeting came to an end on the 31st, Oct., 2015 with participants extending their sincere appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Senegal, AU-IBAR, and CORAF/WECARD for their hospitality and perfect organization of the workshop
Dr. Nwangwu, A.C
(Focal Point, AnGR)