Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Thursday 23 April 2009

Communicating ABS

Don’t communicate externally before you have clarity about the message. When a product, policy or legal regime is still in development, do not communicate externally anything else than: “we are working on it”. Only when you have clarity about the behavior change you want you can go public. Until that time it is better to engage in a range of small scale concrete projects with major stakeholders and then find out what different stakeholders have to know, and how to change attitudes and behaviour.
ABS or access to genetic resources and benefit sharing arising out of their utilization is one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The idea behind it is that the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry make profits that are partially based on the biodiversity and local knowledge in tropical countries – and that we neeed an international regime to make sure that part of these profits go to the communities that provided knowledge on and or access to the genetic resources. The CBD would like to define key audiences and messages. But I would say that at the moment you can’t say more than "we are developing an international regime for the 'fair trade' in genetic resources" and for the rest stick to two-way communication approaches (click on the matrix from the CEPA toolkit).

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