Article 8 – Technical Assistance
The Contracting Parties agree to promote the provision of technical assistance to Contracting Parties, especially those that are developing countries or countries with economies in transition, either bilaterally or through the appropriate international organizations, with the objective of facilitating the implementation of this Treaty.
A cornerstone of recent environmental and development treaties has been the inclusion of provisions for funding and technical assistance to address capacity needs and to support implementation by developing countries. Technical assistance, or technical cooperation, aims to transfer skills, technology, or ways of doing things, to individuals and organisations in developing countries. This is done in various ways, including by sending people with relevant skills to those countries, by training those countries' students in donor countries, and by providing access to technologies. Technical assistance can have other objectives besides capacity development. Its immediate objectives can include the facilitation, monitoring and supervision of resource flows. Its ultimate objective is to increase output and incomes in the developing country. Within this context, capacity development is an intermediate objective of technical assistance.
Technical assistance is a vital element in development assistance. It helps developing countries in:
identifying, formulating, and implementing projects;
improving the institutional capabilities of governments and executing agencies;
formulating development strategies;
promoting and engaging in the transfer of technology; and
fostering regional and sub-regional cooperation.
Within the context of the Treaty, this Article, in conjunction with Article 7.2(a), recognizes that the contributions of developed and developing states towards genetic resource problems are different, and that their economic and technical capacity to tackle these problems also varies widely. Therefore, Contracting Parties are urged to provide financial, technological, and other technical assistance in particular to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to help the implementation of the Treaty. The wording of the Article does not amount to an actual obligation to provide technical assistance. The obligation is to promote the provision of technical assistance. Technical assistance can be provided either bilaterally or through the appropriate international organizations, such as FAO, the GEF or the CGIAR Centres.
An example is the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities Clearing- House mechanism, which provides a one-stop method that promotes the advertising, discovery, access, dissemination and use of related information and data held by numerous organizations using the decentralized capabilities of the Internet.
As with the previous Article, countries with economies in transition are treated on a par with developing countries.
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