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07 February 2018, 15:25

Belarus to launch UNDP/GEF project to implement Nagoya Protocol

MINSK, 7 February (BelTA) – The international technical assistance project “Strengthening human resources, legal frameworks and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol” will be implemented in Belarus, Alexander Korbut, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus during the introductory seminar on the project, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus participates actively in the Convention on Biological Diversity and seeks to achieve its three objectives, namely the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. Belarus has been working on the first two objectives for a long time. With regards to the third one, the most complex one, Belarus needs an additional legal mechanism. The Nagoya Protocol contributes to the third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity as it creates greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources. We will execute the project to implement the provisions of the Nagoya Protocol in Belarus, and I hope that today's seminar will help us in achieving our goals,” Alexander Korbut noted.

The project calls for the analysis of the current legislation in the field of genetic resources conservation. It also provides for the development of mechanisms to ensure access to genetic resources, and also legal distribution of benefits derived from their use on the principles of justice and equality. “Belarus views this project as an opportunity to give impetus to the development of the country's market of genetic resources and to intensify the exchange of experience in this field,” the deputy minister noted.

Belarus joined the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1993. In 2014 the country made part of the Nagoya Protocol. “The Nagoya Protocol reaffirms the sovereign rights of states to their natural resources, and recognizes the importance of genetic resources for food security, health, biodiversity conservation and mitigation of climate change consequences. Belarusian scientists make a significant contribution to the study of biodiversity, pay great attention to the study and conservation of genetic resources. The National Bank of Plant Genetic Resources has been established in Belarus. It includes more than 64,000 collection samples. These are representatives of 1,680 species. Belarusian scientists attach great importance to the issues of DNA-certification of agricultural plants, preservation of the forest gene pool,” said Valentina Lemesh, director of the Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

The Institute of Genetics and Cytology has developed the national DNA bank of human, animals, plants and microorganisms. “The bank includes 12,000 samples. These are valuable genetic resources. Collections are updated every year,” added Valentina Lemesh.

The project “Strengthening human resources, legal frameworks and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol in Belarus” is part of the global project for 24 countries and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The executive agency of the project is the UNDP. The implementing organization is the NAS Institute of Genetics.

The Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted on 29 October 2010 and entered into force on 12 October 2014. It is a complementary protocol to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

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