- Communication, education and public awareness are central to an effective implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. Therefore, effective implementation of Article 21 of the Nagoya Protocol plays a critical role for the overall success of the Protocol.
- The wide range of activities, initiatives and tools for awareness-raising with respect to access and benefit-sharing (ABS) that have been developed to date, were created in the absence of an overall communications framework and a lack of predictable and long-term funding for communications activities. This has contributed to a general lack of awareness on ABS.
- The awareness-raising strategy aims at providing a systematic and coherent approach to assist Parties in the implementation of Article 21. It recognizes the need to link activities related to Article 21 to other capacity-development activities under the Nagoya Protocol, under the programme of work for Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA), and other outreach initiatives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, such as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.
- It is important that awareness-raising activities respond to the specific needs and contexts of each Party; therefore, the awareness-raising strategy should be country-driven. However, in order to assist Parties in the implementation of the strategy, the Secretariat would carry-out a series of supporting actions such as the creation of a toolkit containing methodologies, templates and descriptive materials to support the development of national awareness-raising strategies and associated materials and tools. All products developed under the strategy, by the Secretariat and Parties, should be disseminated through the clearing-house mechanism under the Convention on Biological Diversity, which includes the Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House.
- While target groups may vary depending on the country, raising awareness among users of genetic resources is a priority for the effective implementation of the Protocol. It is also important that the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities be facilitated in national and regional awareness-raising activities.
- A number of awareness-raising tools on ABS have already been developed by Parties and other organizations. In the interest of cost effectiveness, in implementing the strategy, Parties are encouraged, where appropriate, to make use of these tools in the elaboration of their national awareness raising strategies and development of awareness-raising materials.
- The Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House will be an important mechanism to support the implementation of Article 21, ensuring not only that the awareness-raising strategy, products and tools are available to all stakeholders, but also facilitating the sharing of lessons learned among Parties facing similar situations and the sharing of experiences in communicating ABS issues. Finally, it would be needed to fulfil the suggested activities in Article 21, notably activities in paragraphs (d), (e), and (f).
- The following paragraphs elaborate a strategy for awareness-raising to support Parties in the development of national, regional and subregional awareness-raising strategies. The strategy is also outlined in tables at the end of the document. The strategy is structured around four priority activities, which build upon each other. The final activity, the evaluation and assessment step, is assumed to set the conditions and priorities for subsequent iterations of the strategy. Parties are encouraged to implement one iteration of the strategy during the biennium after entry into force. Parties would then be invited to report on progress in the implementation of the strategy to the Clearing-House and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol, as appropriate.
Priority activity 1. Communications situation analysis and the development of needs-based awareness-raising strategies at the national, regional and subregional levels
- Article 21 indicates that Parties are to increase awareness of the importance of genetic resources and the traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources and related access and benefit-sharing issues. Awareness raising measures are further important and necessary for the effective implementation of and compliance with the Protocol and all three objectives of the Convention. Operationalizing these overall principles into an awareness-raising strategy would require the elaboration by Parties of the more specific communications goals to be accomplished, taking into account the specific guidelines outlined in the article.
- The development of effective awareness-raising strategies by Parties should be based upon an analysis of the state of communication on access and benefit-sharing issues. Such an analysis should include the following elements:
- Evaluating the communication goals required to support implementation of the Protocol and in particular for Parties to raise awareness of the importance of genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, and related access and benefit-sharing issues, in accordance with Article 21;
- Conducting awareness surveys which identify the target groups, their level of awareness, and actions required by these groups, with a view to support the implementation of the Protocol;
- Carrying out an audit of existing information and training materials which lists and reviews the effectiveness of existing communication products;
- Creating a roster of technical and communication experts, who could be called upon for assistance in implementing the national, regional or subregional strategies.
- Under this priority activity, the Secretariat will propose a structure to assist Parties in creating their national, regional or subregional awareness-raising strategies, including carrying out a communications situation analysis that address the above elements. The analysis should seek to provide guidance on the kind of messages and awareness-raising materials to be developed. Guidelines and recommendations on each of the above steps will be elaborated by the Secretariat using, wherever appropriate, existing programmes, tools, structures and materials within either the Secretariat (particularly CEPA) or other relevant international organizations, in order to strengthen coherence, enhance efficiency and limit costs. These will be posted on the Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House. Parties would then be invited to replicate or adapt this methodology, as appropriate.
- A variety of actors representing different interests, each with different priorities will be involved with the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, including, inter alia, Governments, research institutions, industry, the education and training sector, and representatives of the media, as well as indigenous and local communities. Therefore, Parties should identify and prioritize key target groups and carry out an awareness survey that establishes their current level of awareness. From this survey, Parties can then determine the actions by these groups that would facilitate full and effective implementation of the Protocol, as well as the communication channels and messages that can help to encourage these actions. This communications situation analysis will assist in the creation of their awareness-raising strategies. As noted earlier, particular efforts should be made to ensure awareness-raising for users of genetic resources. Further, any evaluation of the role of indigenous and local communities in this process should be done as an integrated approach to overall communication goals.
- In addition to the awareness survey, Parties would be invited to carry out an audit of appropriate existing awareness raising products and initiatives and evaluate the extent to which these tools can contribute to achieving communication goals. The audit should take into account the tools and initiatives of partners in different government ministries, non-governmental organizations, business and research communities, as well as indigenous and local communities.
- Finally, Parties are encouraged to create rosters of experts that include communication professionals with expertise in ABS, and technical and legal experts that can act as subject matter experts for the creation of awareness-raising materials.
- The different components outlined above, such as the communication goals, the survey of attitudes and awareness, the audit of existing materials and the roster of experts, should be used to create national, regional or subregional awareness-raising strategies. The resulting strategies will be particular to each Party, but it is suggested that each include:
- A situation analysis and report on key target groups;
- Key messages for awareness-raising activities;
- Awareness-raising activities;
- Resource requirements;
- An evaluation framework.
- Further, it is suggested that any strategy at the national, regional or subregional level include provisions for communication activities, capacity-development or training, whether this is within target groups, or within a group of communications professionals or trainers. Parties would be invited to disseminate the final result of all these activities to the Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House.
Priority activity 2. Creation of toolkit and awareness-raising materials
17. This priority activity focuses on the creation of awareness-raising and training materials which could be used as a means to transmit key messages to different target groups during outreach activities. These materials would be the primary tools for Parties to launch their awareness-raising campaigns and to develop capacity on access and benefit-sharing issues in accordance with the principles outlined in Article 21. Furthermore, training and direction, including training of trainers, on ways to use the materials and how to deliver the key messages to target groups may be required to ensure that the capacities of the target audiences are improved.
- To assist in the implementation of this activity, the Secretariat will create a toolkit that contains methodologies, templates and other descriptive materials on how Parties and stakeholders can develop innovative awareness-raising and training materials. The development of the toolkit will, where appropriate, take into account relevant existing tools within the Convention on Biological Diversity, such as the CEPA toolkit (http://www.cbd.int/cepa/toolkit/2008/doc/CBD-Toolkit-Complete.pdf) and materials from other relevant international organizations, but will be specifically tailored to the needs of ABS communication. The toolkit will be produced in print and multimedia form, compatible with its deployment as an eLearning resource. The toolkit will be created as an Open Educational Resource (OER).1
- Parties will be invited to use the toolkit to develop different awareness-raising materials, adapted to their particular needs, and in support of the strategy created under priority activity 1 to raise awareness and transmit messages to target groups. In creating the materials, the input of key stakeholders, such as those identified under priority activity 1 and indigenous and local communities, should be taken into account to ensure that they would be effective in raising awareness.
- The selection of the best mix of information products for communicating with a specific target group will be largely determined according to the research and assessments conducted in the first priority activity. Print materials, such as brochures and fact sheets, may be suitable in some contexts, while other multimedia materials and approaches, such as radio and short films, may be more effective in others.
- In the context of this priority activity, Parties may also wish to develop materials for use within formal education.
- Parties will be invited to provide copies of the materials developed to the Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House, for further dissemination and sharing among other Parties and stakeholders.
Priority activity 3. Train communicators and engage target groups
- This priority activity has two primary objectives: to train a group of ABS communication experts to implement the national awareness-raising strategy and then to carry out activities to engage with target groups in order to raise awareness.
- In support of this activity, the Secretariat will provide guidelines on the way to conduct a training workshop for ABS communicators. In the ABS toolkit mentioned above, the Secretariat will provide guidelines on the ways that awareness-raising and training materials may be disseminated and used in support of an awareness-raising strategy.
- As a first step in this priority activity, it is suggested that a series of workshops be held to train communications experts using the training materials developed in priority activity 2. This would prepare the group of communications experts to, in turn, reach out effectively to key target groups and deliver the key messages contained within the awareness-raising materials created. These trained communicators could then organize workshops and other events for the key target groups identified in the strategy.
- The awareness-raising materials created under priority activity 2 will be disseminated to target groups in a variety of ways, but an important part of any awareness-raising strategy will be the convening of events, workshops and other forums, where communication activities can take place. The kind of activities which could be organized should be determined by the target groups with which communication is intended. Examples of such activities are: an information breakfast session, a round table for representatives of a particular user group, a training session for representatives of the media, or an academic conference on ABS measures for the research community.
- The events would be an opportunity to involve a variety of stakeholders to discuss national circumstances related to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. For example, as outlined in
Article 21 (i), the events could include specific communication activities related to awareness-raising of community protocols and procedures of indigenous and local communities. The events could also be an opportunity to brief representatives of the media on ABS-related issues.
- It is expected that workshops would be organized primarily at the national level. In certain cases, subregional or regional workshops may also add value to the implementation of the awareness-raising strategies and therefore their organization would be a suitable contribution to this activity. To achieve the most effective and efficient use of resources, the organization of such workshops will take place on the basis of capacity needs assessments by the Parties. In analysing those needs, existing global, regional or subregional mechanisms, processes and tools should be fully taken into account. The Secretariat may be involved in these workshops, subject to the availability of resources.
- For all activities, evaluation and feedback mechanisms similar to the assessments carried out in priority activity 1 should be included to provide data for priority activity 4 below.
- Parties and stakeholders will be invited to post the results of the events on the Clearing-House, including photos of the proceedings, presentations and summaries of the findings.
Priority activity 4. Evaluation and feedback
- It is important to note that as Parties design their strategies, for each priority activity, data and information should be collected for use in an evaluation exercise. Priority activity 1 represents the assembly of baseline data on awareness, against which changes in awareness and behaviour need to be measured. The effectiveness and reception of the awareness-raising materials developed under priority activity 2 should also be measured. Finally, the suitability and learning that has taken place during the workshops and other events under priority activity 3 should also be assessed.
- Using this data, Parties are invited to assess the effectiveness of their activities, workshops and awareness-raising materials. Parties will then be invited to repeat the survey instruments used to establish their national strategies and analyse the feedback received from participants to the awareness-raising activities with a view to changing and fine-tuning their strategies as needed. Parties should collect the same data that was assembled under priority activity 1, and compare them with the baseline results.
- The results of the evaluation and analyses should then be disseminated through the Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House.
- As Party needs will be varied, so, too, will the resource requirements for the implementation of national awareness-raising strategies. Sustainable funding plans should be established to ensure that sufficient resources are available for the strategies in the long-run. Developing country Parties may require external support, including through the GEF, in order to implement their national awareness raising strategies.
- In order to assist Parties in the development and implementation of national, regional and subregional awareness-raising strategies, as recommended under the priority activities, the Secretariat will also require financial and human resources. Secretariat support to priority activities 1, 3 and 4 will be limited to staff time. The Secretariat’s contribution to priority activity 2 will require financial support for the development of the toolkit.