Two bills have been tabled at the Senate this Friday June 11, 2021 in a plenary session chaired by the President, Marcel Nyat Njifenji.
First was a bill to organize and promote volunteering in Cameroon and the other to govern access to genetic resources, their derivatives, traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their utilization.
The first bill seeks to organize and promote volunteering in Cameroon against climate change, youth unemployment, humanitarian action, peace building.
This bill domesticates international practices in the said domain, regulates such activities and makes a clear distinction between volunteerism, the period of National Civic Service for Participation in Development and volunteering, which is an unpaid contractual activity exercised freely and selflessly by a natural person, on a full-time basis or according to a prearranged schedule for the common good or a social cause, and which may entail regular or occasional lump-sum allowances for subsistence purposes.
This bill which includes thirty two sections divided ed into six chapters, circumscribes the scope of application of volunteering, which seeks to mobilize and socially enhance skills, defines the conditions governing its exercise, as well as the related incompatibilities and restrictions.
It also provides for penalties facing host entities and volunteers found guilty of misconduct or duplicity. This bill constitutes an essential basis for developing and enhancing volunteering as a key element of some public policies, including poverty reduction.
The other bill was that to govern access to genetic resources.
The bill which falls within the framework of Cameroon’s implementation of the Nagoya Protocol to which it acceded in 2016, seeks to support the development of genetic resources and the traditional knowledge associated therewith in order to encourage their conservation and sustainable use.
The bill will also help regulate access to genetic resources, their derivatives and or associated traditional knowledge.
It will also ensure the involvement of indigenous and local communities in the sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources or associated traditional knowledge and foster and encourage the development of research findings, documentation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.
Members of the Finance and Budget Commission of the Senate resume work this Saturday June 12, 2021 to deliberate on the finance ordinance that was tabled to the house.
Bruno Ndonwie Funwie