General Information

Project phase

The ABS Initiative started in 2006. The current phase runs from September 2022 – August 2025.


The ABS Initiative has supported negotiations on ABS since 2006, and the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol since 2010. In the current project phase, the ABS Initiative aims at improving the conditions for successful cooperation between providers and users of biological resources for the fair sharing of benefits for biodiversity conservation, sustainable use, and local livelihoods:

  • Developing capacities to implement ABS provisions within the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)
  • Strengthening capacities to integrate ABS/Biotrade into national conservation, trade and economic policies
  • Establishing Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships
  • Empowering and ensuring active participation of Indigenous People and local communities (IPLC)
  • Improving capacities in Digital Sequence Information (DSI)


The ABS Initiative aims to help create enabling environments in which genetic resources and the associated traditional knowledge are utilized in a sustainable way, while ABS delivers economic and development opportunities to all relevant stakeholders. It aims to achieve this objective by contributing to functional national ABS systems, IPLC involvement in ABS agreements and the establishment of ABS compliant value chains in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. 

Geographical scope

The ABS Initiative supports a number of partner countries in Africa. These include: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and South Africa.

Target groups

Target groups include policy makers and regulators, Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs), the private sector (SMEs, cooperatives, corporations, etc.) and academia (e.g., universities, research centers).


Governance and management

The ABS Capacity Development Initiative is implemented by the Secretariat of the ABS Initiative. The Secretariat has been commissioned to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and is based at GIZ headquarters in Eschborn, Germany. The Secretariat manages the ABS Initiative and serves as focal point for member and partner relations. It is responsible for implementing activities and ensuring the financial and institutional stability.

Host and donors

The ABS Initiative is hosted by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), funded by several governments and international organizations, and managed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Donors are: the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (MLNV), the British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Cooperation (SECO).

Further details