Cameroon Takes Steps to Ensure Equitable Benefit Sharing from Biodiversity Resources

Cameroon Takes Steps to Ensure Equitable Benefit Sharing from Biodiversity Resources

Cameroon, situated in central Africa, boasts extensive biological resources, often exploited by foreign firms with little benefit to local communities. The country has adopted the Nagoya Protocol to address equitable benefit sharing from genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

Understanding the Nagoya Protocol

  1. Definition and Origin:
    • The Nagoya Protocol stems from the Convention on Biological Diversity, focusing on fair and equitable benefit sharing regarding biodiversity access.
  2. Objective:
    • Ensuring fair sharing of benefits from genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

Cameroon’s Biodiversity and Bioprospecting

  1. Biodiversity Riches:
    • Cameroon is a biodiversity hotspot, housing around 11,000 species, including plants, animals, and microorganisms.
  2. Bioprospecting Importance:
    • Genetic resources and traditional knowledge are crucial for bioprospecting, aiding in discovering new drugs, foods, and products.

Case Study: Prunus Africana and Benefit Sharing

  1. Exploitation Issues:
    • Foreign companies exploit resources like Prunus Africana without benefiting the local communities.
  2. Nagoya Protocol’s Role:
    • Adoption of the Nagoya Protocol aims to rectify this imbalance and protect indigenous rights.

Challenges and Initiatives

  1. Challenges Faced:
    • Cameroon faces obstacles like inadequate implementing instruments and institutional capacity.
  2. Initiatives Undertaken:
    • Projects funded by organizations like the Global Environment Facility support Nagoya Protocol implementation and biodiversity research.

Bioprospecting Project in Cameroon

  1. Project Overview:
    • The project aims to support research on selected species like bush mango, benefiting smallholders in specific regions.
  2. Importance of Bush Mango:
    • Bush mango serves as a valuable resource in traditional medicine and food, attracting interest from pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

Local Perspectives and Economic Potential

  1. Local Involvement:
    • Local stakeholders like Thomas Arrey Ayuk see potential benefits from increased value and demand for bush mango.
  2. Economic Opportunities:
    • Initiatives such as agreements with international companies and assistance with product certification can enhance economic gains for local communities.

Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. What international agreement does Cameroon adopt to ensure equitable benefit sharing from genetic resources and traditional knowledge?
    • A) Paris Agreement
    • B) Kyoto Protocol
    • C) Nagoya Protocol
    • D) Marrakech Accords
    • Answer: C) Nagoya Protocol
  2. Bioprospecting primarily involves the exploration of:
    • A) Mineral resources
    • B) Biological material
    • C) Fossil fuels
    • D) Agricultural land
    • Answer: B) Biological material
  3. Which indigenous species is mentioned as being exploited without benefiting local communities in Cameroon?
    • A) Irvingia wombulu
    • B) Monodora myristica
    • C) Prunus Africana
    • D) Balanites aegyptiaca
    • Answer: C) Prunus Africana
  4. What is one of the challenges Cameroon faces in implementing the Nagoya Protocol?
    • A) Lack of biodiversity
    • B) Excessive institutional capacity
    • C) Insufficient research and development
    • D) Overwhelming implementing instruments
    • Answer: C) Insufficient research and development
  5. What is the primary benefit Thomas Arrey Ayuk hopes to gain from increased demand for bush mango?
    • A) Environmental conservation
    • B) Cultural preservation
    • C) Economic prosperity
    • D) Social equality
    • Answer: C) Economic prosperity