EU lawmakers back “intellectual property rights” over biodiversity
On 12 September 2013, the European Parliament has agreed to rules that would prevent EU companies, particularly in the pharmaceuticals sector, from exploiting the natural resources of the world's indigenous communities by recognising their 'intellectual property rights' over local biodiversity. An additional step forward towards the inclusion of indigenous communities and the protection against biopiracy.
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Bonn, 16 September 2013 - In
the vote on 12 September, MEPs rubber-stamped the next stage of the EU's
ratification of the Nagoya protocol, a UN convention on biodiversity signed by
leaders in the Japanese city in 2010. This convention regulates the protection
of biodiversity by setting limits on the amount of a genetic resource, such as
plant or animal material, that companies can utilize to use as ingredients for
The rules also confer
ownership of the resources to the indigenous communities where they are found
and 'intellectual property rights' to traditional knowledge associated with
them. French Green MEP Sandrine Bélier, who led the proposal through
Parliament, said: "This legislation is a real step forward. It reinforces
the sharing of benefits, offers better traceability along the user chain from research
to marketing, and sets up a mechanism against biopiracy.”
Though there were attempts aiming
to weaken the report and the presence of the EU at the negotiating table, the
Parliament sent a strong signal to the global community and the EU that
international obligations must be respected.
EU’s top environment
official, Janez Potočnik, added that the "Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS)
Regulation will protect the rights of indigenous and local
communities related to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources;
and on the other hand it has important implications for European innovation and
To view the
complete news and different political positions from members of the European
Parliament, click here
Tags: Biodiversity Management | Health Care and pharmaceuticals | Agriculture and food | Supply Chain Management | Natural Resources
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