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.

© Rebel /
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 their products.

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 economic growth.”

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

Other articles you might be interested in:

Aidenvironment Study: Sustainability Issues and Solutions in the Rubber Sector
Low prices drive natural rubber producers into poverty and serious violations of working rights are common. This is the harsh reality revealed in a new study conducted by Aidenvironment. The comprehensive review of literature reveals numerous cases of inadequate safety standards, inappropriate use of toxic chemicals, discrimination and structurally long working hours and child labour. It points to the need for more responsible sourcing practices by the rubber industry with particular attention to fair trading conditions.

Fashion and Textile Leaders for Forest Conservation embark on shifting global viscose supply chain away from endangered forests
Several of the world's most influential clothing brands gather in Vietnam to develop a roadmap to green their supply chain. The agenda includes a shared "knowledge map", long-term conservation solutions as well as recycled materials and fabrics from straw.

Sustainable Agricultural Initiative: Further Steps to Food Security
The world population is slated to reach nine billion by the year 2050 and with the demands of a growing population comes the need for a sustainable food supply. The August issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) includes an article about the SAI Platform (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative), a global initiative helping food and drink companies achieve sustainable production and sourcing of raw agricultural materials.

Private Investment in Conservation Reaches $8.2 Billion
The private sector channeled $8.2 billion (B) of private capital in to investments that seek measurable environmental benefits – in addition to financial returns – between 2004 and 2015 according to a report released by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace.

New guidance on biodiversity in environmental management systems
“EMAS and Biodiversity: How to address biodiversity protection through environmental management systems” is the title of a new publication on the sound management of biodiversity aspects within EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and other management systems.

Twitter Xing Facebook LInkedIN

A Simple Explanation of Business & Biodiversity!

Featured video


Media Partners