LEGAZPI CITY—The Department of Agriculture-5 participated in the Global Environment Facility (GEF) 7 Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Site-Level Inception Workshop on September 17-18, 2019 in one of the hotels here.

The workshop was conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-5 and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a preparatory tool in developing a project on “Implementing the National Framework on ABS of Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge in the Philippines” which will be submitted to GEF 7.

This project will strengthened the national ABS Framework, building national and local capacities, and developing critical experience in ABS agreements. Thus, this project will support innovation of farmers of Pili (Canarium ovatum) which is an endemic tree found in the Bicol Region.

GEF provides grant to developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The country allocation per focal area under GEF-7 has a total of 38.25 million US dollars.

Sorsogon province was included in the selected provinces in the country for the project because in 2016, the province produced 3,978.61 metric tons of pili or 63% of the total pili production of the Philippines.

UNDP and DENR will assess other target provinces in the Bicol Region which will adopt a holistic approach.

This project has three components—Strengthening the National Framework for Implementing ABS in accordance with the Nagoya Protocol; awareness raising and capacity building for implementation of national ABS framework; and Demontrating Benefit-Sharing Agreements. The workshop was participated in by representatives of national government agencies, civil society organizations, academe and stakeholders present their inputs for the ABS Project with pili tree or elemi. (jaysonmgonzales)