By Walter Wilson Nana
Some forty media men and women, drawn from the public, private and community radio stations across Cameroon have indicated that the process of instituting a legal framework for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol be accelerated by the government of Cameroon. This is amongst the series of resolutions taken at the close of a weeklong workshop that took place in the city of Douala recently.
According to the journalists, discussions on the content and the place of the Nagoya Protocol in Cameroon will not yield the much needed fruits if the powers that be do not ratify and make public the rules and regulations on how to forge ahead.
The participants entreated the government to partner with local media organs so as to better monitor the sensitization campaigns of the Nagoya Protocol as well as encourage partners such as the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the Ministry of the Environment, Protection of Nature & Sustainable Development and the Global Environment Facility, GEF, to organize more training workshops for journalists since the issue of Genetic Resources is still complex. It was also resolved that the Government should create an enabling environment in areas where these Genetic Resources are found, given the security challenges in some parts of the country.
During the weeklong workshop, the journalists were also schooled on the Nagoya Protocol, which was signed in Japan in 2010. The Nagoya Protocol is on and about the conservation of biodiversity and the eco-system. It is also a new international treaty on the Access and Benefit Sharing, ABS, to support the implementation of the third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. It is a legal instrument attached to the local and traditional communities guiding the exploitation and use of the biodiversity.
The Nagoya Protocol is out to ameliorate and facilitate access to genetic resources and build the capacity of the population where the genetic resources are coming from.
In a discourse on the role of journalists in the education and sensitization on the Nagoya Protocol in Cameroon, the UNDP National Communication and Advocacy Officer, Joseph Fajong said the education on and about the Nagoya Protocol must be reinforced by the media in Cameroon so as to widen the knowledge and sensitise the local population and the beneficiary population.
Fajong indicated that the media practitioners will have to effectively communicate, be systematic and pursue advocacy on the import of the Nagoya Protocol and the genetic resources it seeks to protect and promote across Cameroon.
The different communication strategies and how the journalists can conveniently craft action plans were also profoundly discussed.
Journalists urge gov’t to fast-track implementation of The Nagoya Protocol
By Walter Wilson Nana