The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a multilateral treaty dedicated to promoting sustainable development. It was signed by 150 government leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit (Brazil). CBD has three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity), the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is the legally binding mechanism to implement access and benefit sharing. To date, 129 Parties to the CBD have ratified the Nagoya Protocol.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; German Research Foundation) is one of the few funding agencies around the world that has implemented (since 2008) its own Guidelines to promote the application of the principles and procedures of ABS among its applicants. In 2013, DFG approved funding of ABS measures with central research funds of the CRC 990, and since November 2013, EFForTS supports the project partners in Indonesia.

In Phase 1 (2012-2015), EFForTS awarded 33 short-term research grants to counterparts and stakeholders (LIPI, PTPN VI, PT Humusindo, BKSDA , PT REKI, Ministry of Forestry ) to strengthen the research cooperation and to complement existing research activities addressing new scientific questions. Besides, EFForTS set up a research station at PT. Humusindo and a field laboratory at the National Park Bukit Duabelas.

In Phase 2 (2016 to 2019), the ABS funding scheme has been extended. In addition to the promotion of research projects of counterparts and stakeholders, EFForTS funds capacity building workshops and supports the research work of junior researchers at the partner universities in Indonesia. So far, we awarded 75 research grants to counterparts and stakeholders. Moreover, EFForTS supported the research work of 13 early career researchers as well as 3 capacity building workshops at the partner universities in Indonesia.