Benefiting Local Communities Under Ethiopian Access to Genetic Resources and Benefitsharing (ABS) Laws

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ABS laws are meant among other things to ensure that communities benefit from the use of their genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Communities can benefit in a number of ways, both monetary and non-monetary. One of the key elements of ABS in this regard is that access to genetic resources and to the associated traditional knowledge is subject to Prior Informed Consent (PIC) of a nation home to the resources and of the local communities who are the custodians of the genetic resources. This thesis is intended to assess mechanisms, procedures and practices by which ABS is implemented in Ethiopia with a view to benefiting local communities. In the case of Ethiopia, Proclamation No. 482/ 2006 and Regulation No. 169/2009 were enacted to regulate ways by which genetic resources and community knowledge is accessed and community rights are protected. These legal provisions recognize the contributions made by Ethiopian local Communities’ toward the conservation, development and sustainable use of genetic resources. However, identification of specific local communities for the purpose of benefit sharing, the mechanisms to secure local communities consent in formation of ABS Agreements, Access fund administration and Distribution of Monetary Benefits among the concerned local communities are among the challenging areas in implementation of ABS laws in Ethiopia. Qualitative method was employed to collect data from ABS agreements concluded in Ethiopia and evaluation of national ABS laws was made in light of benefiting Ethiopian local communities. The results of this paper prevailed that the challenges in relation to benefiting local communities under Ethiopian ABS laws related with less involvement of stakeholders, limitations in formulation and contents of ABS agreements, and absence of clear procedure to ensure local community participation in decision making under Ethiopian ABS laws.



Benefiting Local Communities, Ethiopian Access Genetic Resources,Benefitsharing Laws