Regrets the lack of clear statistics on biopiracy and misappropriation, and calls for more EU research and disclosure of information in this field to remedy this situation; stresses also that better data is needed on the number and content of ABS contracts; considers that this could be gathered by setting up a notification and database system through the CBD Clearing-House Mechanism;.
Stresses that an international instrument comprising disclosure requirements and databases for genetic resources protection is not a substitute for an effective access and benefit sharing mechanism at the national level;.
Takes the view that direct notification by users of companies using genetic resources or associated traditional knowledge, utilisation of certificates compliance and exploration of litigation options within and outside the national jurisdiction, can also effectively contribute to curb potential biopiracy cases;. Considers that a clear and coherent system of proprietary rights would contribute to the creation of knowledge and its dissemination to developing countries, to the benefit of local entrepreneurship, research, education and poverty alleviation;.
Working towards a coherent global governance system. Welcomes initiatives providing an alternative option to strictly trade-based bodies, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility GBIF , which promotes free and open access to biodiversity data through global cooperation between different governments, organisations and other international stakeholders;.
Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission. The protection and preservation of genetic diversity is a key component of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Genetic resources GR are particularly essential for sustainable agriculture and food security. Therefore, the loss of genetic diversity that occurs as part of the biodiversity erosion process represents a key challenge for humanity. In spite of its vital importance for human survival, genetic diversity is being lost at an alarming increased rate.
Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and the Law
Such erosion of diversity sets new challenges for both holders and users of GR, the former being most often biodiversity-rich developing countries, the latter being usually developed countries. In this context biopiracy has emerged as a major concern for developing countries. The lack of balance between providers and users of genetic resources has also brought the issue of access to and benefit-sharing from genetic resources onto international stage. In this context, the Convention on Biological Diversity plays a unique role.
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While it is one of the most important treaties regulating the conservation and use of biodiversity on the international level, it differs from other international environmental treaties in a remarkable way. Questions of fairness, equity and justice play an explicit and prominent role.
In light of this, your rapporteur advocates for the quick ratification of the Nagoya Protocol as an important tool to combat biopiracy and to restore fairness and equity in the exchange of GR. This entails, nevertheless, that both developing and developed countries take necessary steps to make the Protocol effective. While many developing countries have failed or were unable to put into place an adequate legal framework on ABS, developed countries have failed to provide for effective compliance mechanisms that would ensure that fair and equitable BS can be enforced where private actors, under their jurisdiction, utilise genetic resources from biodiversity-rich countries.
To sum up, the Protocol requires the establishment or further elaboration of detailed domestic ABS legislation in developing countries as a precondition for the obligation of user countries to comply with PIC requirements.
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Given the current lack of ABS legislation in many developing countries, this request poses a real challenge and requires substantial legal and institutional capacity building. Accordingly, EU development aid should be used as a tool to provide developing countries with legal and institutional capacity building assistance on ABS related issue. Providing recourse in case of disputes and for access to justice will also require adaptations of domestic legal systems in the EU. However, to combat biopiracy effectively, it is important to address the following challenges:.
The use of a wide range of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture CGRFA is crucial for food security, agricultural and environmental sustainability and to face climate change. Till now, most developing countries recognise the rights of small farmers to save and exchange seeds.
Therefore, IPRs should not hinder access to affordable medicines for their populations, especially if such IPRs rely on GR that originate from developing countries. Enabling traditional knowledge holders to maintain, control and protect such knowledge is not only critical to their economic and cultural survival but to the maintenance of biodiversity that benefits the entire world. In a context where traditional knowledge provides substantial profits to industries, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and agriculture, protection of traditional knowledge TK of indigenous and local communities represents an important challenge to combat biopiracy related to bioprospecting activities.
Although TK protection has been addressed broadly through human rights, indigenous rights and biodiversity preservation concerns, your rapporteur believes that certain improvements at the international institutional level are needed to avoid biopiracy connected to illegal use of TK.
Solutions for Access and Benefit Sharing, 1st Edition
Indeed, even if the goals of preservation and human rights are enshrined in a number of international environmental and human rights instruments, these are largely optional and lack in practise the enforcement mechanism of international intellectual property agreements, notably the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights TRIPS. More specifically, if over the last few years, the right of Indigenous and Local Communities ILCs have progressively been recognised at the international level, much remains to be done to enforce them effectively.
However, as a binding international treaty, the Convention of Biodiversity contains, in its Article 8 j , an obligation for states to protect TK held by ILCs.
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However, the requirements related to TK are formulated in a less binding language than those linked to GR. In view of these various shortcomings, your rapporteur deems it essential to grant TK the same level of protection as GR and to define a sui generis legally binding international regime of IPR that reflects among others the diversity of interests of local communities as well as customary law.
Bibliography : The Protection of Traditional Knowledge on Genetic Resources
She then focuses on a public law approach and discusses what the term "fair and equitable", contained in the CBD, means from a procedural and substantive point of view. Concludingly, she points out several concrete elements that provider countries could integrate into their ABS legislation for ensuring that ABS agreements live up to standards of fairness and equity. London: Earthscan, Skip to main content Skip to menu. Publication Book Section. International Development.
Kamau , Gerd Winter.
The need to regulate access to genetic resources and ensure a fair and equitable sharing of any resulting benefits was at the core of the development of the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD. The CBD established a series of principles and requirements around access and benefit sharing ABS in order to increase transparency and equity in the international flow of genetic resources, yet few countries have been able to effectively implement them and ABS negotiations are often paralysed by differing interests.
This book not only examines these complex challenges, but offers workable, policy-oriented solutions.