Throughout history, resources, like aloe vera above, have been taken from countries and communities with or without consent and used to create products and generate benefits without any compensation to the countries or communities they came from. Plants, animals and other resources from the region are often used as raw materials for major cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Some we know their potential, and others we are just discovering.
For example, aloe vera or ‘aloes’ as we call it in Barbados has been used for many things traditionally, from grinding it up and drinking it for ‘purging’, using the gel for burns and cuts and even to wash your hair. Over time, many of its properties have been identified and has been used in major pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food companies. But have the benefits been shared with the source countries and communities?
This is where Access to Benefit-Sharing of Genetic Resources (ABS) or the Nagoya Protocol comes into play. It provides a transparent process for countries and communities for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of genetic and biological resources. Our resources and traditional knowledge are valuable and it is important to control how the resources are used and appropriate benfits are gained. The Nagoya Protocol is a protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of which Barbados is a Party to.
The Biodiversity Conservation and Management Section of the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification, Green and Blue Economy is hosting a series of focus group meetings aiming to develop key messages for the creation of a communication strategy for ABS in Barbados.
There will be 4 focus group sessions where we will share and discuss information about ABS and develop key messages for public awareness from October 3 – 6 2022 at Sweetfield Manor, Brittons Hill, St. Michael. The sessions will be held from 10 am -12:30 pm with lunch being served after. Therefore, our valued stakeholders are invited to attend one session highlighted below. Spaces are limited, so please register via this link by Wednesday, September 27th 2022. If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact Jamilla Sealy via email at [email protected].
The groups are as follows:
- Day 1 (October 3): Research Centres, Academia & Training and NGOs
Day 2 (October 4): Manufacturing Industries (Beauty, Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Agricultural, Collectors)
- Day 3 (October 5): Communications, Public Awareness, Artists and Media, Manufacturing Industries
- Day 4 (October 6): Policymakers, Government
To learn more about ABS and the Nagoya Protocol, please visit the following websites: