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Welcome to the Science Summit at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77)

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avatar for Fernando Mc Kay

Fernando Mc Kay

Fundación para el Estudio de Especies Invasivas (FuEDEI)
Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina
I am a doctor in Biological Sciences from the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2002, I work at the Foundation for the Study of Invasive Species (FuEDEI), formerly known as the USDA-ARS, South American Biological Control Laboratory. During my career, I’ve participated in several classical biological control (CBC) projects with Indigenous plants form South America (Tropical soda apple, Salvinia, Brazilian peppetree, Balloon vine, Pompom weed, Mesquite, Parkinsonia) that became Invasive in other regions of the world (USA, Australia, South Africa). In the last years I´ve been conducting feasibility assessment studies for implementation of classical biological control programs against invasive alien plants in Argentina such as Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) and White ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium). During the last 10 years, the access and benefit-sharing regulations derived from the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol have progressively become a challenging obstacle for the research and practice of classical biological control. As a consequence, in the last few years I have dedicated part of my time to participate in the writing of papers and in the organization of workshops on this topic and since 2020 I am a member of the study commission International Organization for Biological Control-Commission on Biological Control and Access and Benefit Sharing. Regulation of invasive species: experiences form Latin America Fernando Mc Kay1 1: Fundación para el Estudio de Especies Invasivas (FuEDEI - www.fuedei.org). Bolívar 1559 (B1686EFA), Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are one of the top five direct drivers of biodiversity loss. The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity recognizes the global impact of invasive alien species as a cross-cutting issue and provides guidance for the development of national strategies to minimize the spread and impact of IAS. This paper describes the current situation in Latin America, particularly in Argentina, regarding the activities and policies implemented to address the problem of IAS, as part of a global commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDG) and the Aichi Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It describes on some of the initiatives and products of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy implemented in Argentina and specific actions on some key IAS (e.g. beaver; tamarisk). Finally, it reports on different initiatives and information regarding IAS in other countries in Latin America. The Nagoya Protocol: implementation and experiences Session Accessing Biological Control Genetic Resources: The South American experience Fernando Mc Kay1 1: Fundación para el Estudio de Especies Invasivas (FuEDEI - www.fuedei.org). Bolívar 1559 (B1686EFA), Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Nagoya Protocol (NP) is a supplementary agreement to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) which aims to provide a transparent legal framework for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Innovations of the NP are the specific obligations to support compliance with domestic legislation of the party providing genetic resources and contractual obligations reflected in mutually agreed terms. The adoption of the NP and implementation of access and benefit sharing (ABS) national regimes have created obstacles to many research-based activities that require access to genetic resources, such as biological control, particularly classical and augmentative practices. Taking into account that classical biological control has been recognized by the CBD as an effective tool to manage invasive alien species, the adoption of ABS regimes by CBD and NP parties should not hamper the global benefits provided by biological control. Restrictive interpretations of CBD principles under the NP have created difficulties to conduct biological control programs, including the exportation of biodiversity for taxonomic research and the exportation of potential biocontrol agents. In this context, South America plays a relevant role. On the one hand, it is home to five of the 17 megadiverse countries (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela) and, on the other hand, because it has historically been an important provider of biological control genetic resources worldwide. The present work aims to describe the current status of the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol in South America; examine the number of internationally recognized certificates of compliance (IRCC) of the NP, as an indication of the research conducted in compliance of the ABS system in each country and, whenever possible, analyze the proportion of permits to access genetic resources and IRCCs issued in South America that involve biological control projects. It also illustrates the variability that exists between jurisdictions in obtaining export permits for biological control agents using an example from Argentina. Finally, it provides some conclusions and recommendations to promote a more effective and efficient exchange of biocontrol genetic resources and ABS regulations in South America.