THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines will conduct a site-level Inception Workshop in Lubao town this week.

The program is entitled “Implementing the National Framework on Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge in the Philippines” or the Access and Benefit Sharing Project (ABS Project).

This multisectoral initiative funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) aims to strengthen the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing in the Philippines. The UNDP Philippines commissioned a study identifying that the country loses an estimated USD 8.1 million annually in foregone royalty earnings for a single pharmaceutical product derived from a Philippine genetic resource that was patented by a foreign company.

The implementation of the ABS Project is an opportunity to advance the inclusion of endemic and abundant genetic resources in the value chain, consequently increasing their market value.

The project is a step forward to developing at least two bio-products from local genetic resources of Banaba in Region III (Laeerstroemia sneciosa) and Pili tree in (Canarium ovatum and Canarium luzonicum) in Region V.

The site-level Inception Workshop aims to validate and harmonize strategies for the project results framework and multi-year work plan at the site level.

It provides an opportunity to invite commitments from the local government units, Bureaue of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Science and Technology, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Health, Pharmalytics Corporation, Herbanext Laboratories Inc., indigenous peoples, and other key stakeholders to support the project’s full implementation in identified provinces in Region III for the next 6 years.