|Posted by Chidi Oguamanam on June 26, 2011 at 4:47 PM|
Following the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2010, developed countries, including Canada, have reason to take the ABS issue more seriously now than ever. The tendency to dismiss ABS as a developing country issue is no longer sustainable; neither is the dichotomization between countries as users and producers of genetic resources. Exploring the ecological and aspects of Canada's biotechnology and political profile, in this article, I reflect on how best Canada can translate the ABS Protocol to optimally benefit all stakeholders, including its biotechnology industrial establishments and its Aboriginal peoples in the overall interest of sustainable biodiversity conservation. Given the complex political and federal structure of Canada (not to mention the cross-cutting nature of biological resources and associated knowledge) and Canada's tensed relationship with Aboriginal Peoples, is Canada prepared to domesticate the ABS Protocol? If so, how best and how soon can Canada do so? Are there sufficient structures on ground (since Canada became the first industrialized country to ratify the CBD) to leap onto the Nagoya Protocol? Following Canada’s reluctant and belated signing of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,do we see Canada getting on board Nagoya? How best can Canada’s implementation of the ABS Protocol account for Aboriginal Peoples' interest?