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    • 1ST ECO Experts Group Meeting on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)
      1ST ECO Experts Group Meeting on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)
      The First ECO Experts Group Meeting on Access and Benefit Sharing was held on 11-13 March, 2019 in Antalya, Republic of Turkey. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Afghanistan, Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkey (Host), as well as the representatives of the ECO Secretariat and Secretariat of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

      Mr. Hasan Kanca, Deputy General Director, Nature Conservation and National Parks of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey inaugurated the meeting by highlighting the importance of enhancing synergy and coherence among key stakeholders in the field of biodiversity in the ECO Region. He called upon the Member States to enhance their efforts for close collaboration in the field of economic, social, technological, sustainable forest management and other related environmental areas. Furthermore, the Deputy General Director expressed the hope that the Meeting would provide ample opportunities to build on existing arrangements and frameworks in the field of biodiversity, bio-smuggling and bio-piracy. In his opening statement, Mr. Fuad Farzalibeyov, Director for Energy, Minerals and Environment of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) briefed the audience on the environment profile of ECO, and expressed hope that the subject Meeting would map out common result-oriented and coherent regional approaches and policy guidance for future roadmap of ECO in the field of ABS and related areas of biodiversity.

      The CITES Secretariat also briefed the Meeting on illegal trade in wildlife; regional wildlife enforcement cooperation and information enforcement support; ongoing and potential role of ECO Member States in CITES process, its international legal framework and common procedural mechanisms for an effective regulation of international trade.

      During 3 days meeting, the participants discussed issues pertaining to the ABS Framework on Traditional Knowledge; Material Transfer Agreements; Prior Informed Consents; Clearing-House Mechanism; Bottlenecks, as Trans-Boundary Cooperation and Global Multilateral Benefit-sharing Mechanism. The Meeting highlighted the importance of monitoring export and import of species, particularly endangered species, integrated genetic resources management, combating illegal wildlife trade and transnational organized wildlife crime, use, registry and access to traditional knowledge and sharing of the benefits arising from its utilization. Furthermore, following extensive discussions, the Meeting finalized the ToR for ECO ABS Experts Pool.

      The Meeting was concluded on 13 March 2019 by a field visit to National Park, which was arranged by host for the participants and shortly briefed on illegal export and import of species.

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