The regulations concerning access to genetic resources and the sharing of their benefits (ABS) are the key and most contentious section of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). They highlight the acutely diverging perceptions of industrialised and developing countries. Moreover, on this issue the CBD runs contrary to the rules of the World Trade Organisation. A global ABS regime is nowhere in sight today. It is also feared that the Parties to the Contract will not achieve the goals they have set themselves even on less complex CBD issues such as the programme of work on protected areas. Implementing the resolutions of the CBD is advancing at a generally unsatisfactory and slow pace. Nevertheless the CBD is a unique forum and essential for advancing good global governance. Local initiatives are already pinpointing how sustainability can come to life at local level.
Prof. Dr. Manfred Niekisch
University of Greifswald