An integrated and coordinated plan for biological diversity utilization is envisaged in the NBSAP. Government has established a national programme for sustainable utilization of biological resources at the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, as well as the Raw Materials Research and Development Council in order to optimize the contribution of these resources in the national economy. It is also envisaged that an Inter-Ministerial Panel or a full-fledged Biodiversity Institute will be established to coordinate and harmonize the activities of various agencies of Government, bio-industries and the civil society in sustainable utilization of biological resources. The planning process for this strategy initiated the formation of a private sector driven Bio-resources Industry Organization of Nigeria (BIN) to engage the private sector and civil society in monitoring the use of biodiversity for the production of consumer goods.

 

Policy Perspectives

a.Development of a national policy to regulate the exploitation of biological resources, with emphasis on added local value and broad stakeholder participation instead of export of raw plant materials.

 

b.Development of a national database of ethno-botanical and ethno-medical information. This should be done with the active collaboration of local communities, traditional healers, ethno-botanists and taxonomists. To achieve this goal, a system of incentives would be created to reward the holders of indigenous knowledge. In this regard, the NBSAP recognized the need for immediate steps to be taken to establish a Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) this will in turn involve:

 

i.Coordination of biological resources information collection, especially through the establishment of an efficient Clearing House Mechanism (CHM), with full government support. This would include a review of roles and responsibilities of related ministerial and line agencies at federal and state levels to ensure articulation of all relevant information. The information collected should reflect the categories as identified by the World Conservation and Monitoring Centre (WCMC) namely, Conservation, Genetic Resources, Technology, Biotechnology, Environmental Statistics/Economics, Policy, Human Factors, Environmental Law; and

 

ii.Recognition of a distinct role for the media in biodiversity information management.

 

c.Initiation of a programme of bio-discovery, with emphasis on the collection of information on microorganisms and their role in bioremediation. 

 

d.Internalization of the process of data collection through education and public awareness, which would include encouragement of indigenous crop studies in secondary schools and university training in plant taxonomy and systematic.

 

Access and Benefit Sharing

Article 10 of the CBD requires signatories to the convention to develop Fair and Equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of the commercialization of biological diversity. Hitherto local communities have derived minimal benefits from the commercial exploitation of the country’s biodiversity. The new plan hopes to address this problem by according recognition to local communities as the custodians of most of the nation’s biodiversity. A national policy on intellectual property rights and traditional knowledge will be developed to formulate a sui generis system that will reward indigenous knowledge. Access to national parks is regulated through the National Parks Decree of 1999, which gives the Conservator General, on approval from the Honourable Minister for Environment, authority to grant access to the national parks.