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UN DOALOS Eighth Session of the Open-ended
Informal Consultative Process
on Oceans and the Law of the Sea

UN Headquarters, New York | 25-29 June 2007
United Nations
 
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Consultative Process Discusses Collection, Commercialization of Marine Genetic Resources

On Tuesday, delegates to the eighth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-8) reconvened in a discussion panel on marine genetic resources (MGRs). In the morning, presentations were made and a discussion was held on understanding the activities related to MGRs and other relevant aspects relating to experiences in collection. In the afternoon, delegates addressed issues relating to experiences in commercialization.


Monday, 25 June
Discussion Panel: Understanding the Activities Related to MGRs and Other Relevant Aspects: Experiences in Collection

Co-Chair Cristián Maquiera, Chile, challenged panelists to identify the "enabling environment" that could improve bioprospecting access and research.

Sophie Arnaud-Haond, French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, presented on genetic resources around hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and nodules in the deep sea.

Marcia Creary, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, emphasized that small island developing States need to establish controlled access, prior informed consent, participation in research, and mechanisms to share proceeds from MGR activities.

John Hooper, Queensland Museum, Australia, discussed maximizing research benefits from biodiscovery for both research and coastal states, and experiences in major biodiversity collections in Queensland.

Emma Sarne, Philippine Permanent Mission to the UN, on behalf of Maria Rowena, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, discussed bioprospecting and the management of Philippine MGRs in the Verde Island Marine Corridor.

Marcos de Almeida, Brazil, asked about intellectual property options for industry.

Harlan Cohen, IUCN, suggested an international collaborative structure on deep sea research.

Elie Jarmache, France, asked about codes of conduct and the role of the state in defining them.

Alba Nydia Pérez, Guatemala, asked about databases that are accessible to all.
Side Event

A lunchtime side event on "Meeting the WSSD Goals of Achieving Ecosystem Management and Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management by 2010, Taking into Account Climate Change: Challenges, Progress, Political Will" featured speakers from the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, AOSIS and Indonesia. Participants discussed: planning for the 4th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands, to be held from April 7-11, 2008 in Hanoi, Vietnam; Small Island Developing States and responses to emerging issues; and the World Ocean Conference, to be held in May 2009 in Indonesia.
Discussion Panel: Understanding the Activities Related to MGRs and Other Relevant Aspects: Experiences in Commercialization

Geoff Burton, Jean Shannon and Associates, Australia, outlined how both public and private research bodies are commercializing MGRs and underscored that nature, as opposed to recombinant chemistry, is still the major source of new drugs.

Marc Slattery, University of Mississippi, US, spoke on experiences in commercializing MGRs, particularly in the pharmaceutical field.

Simon Munt, PharmaMar, described his company as a biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery and development of marine-derived medicines.

Maureen McKenzie, Denali BioTechnologies, addressed economic self-determination and commercialization of subsistence marine resources of Alaska natives.

The UK suggested that governments create an enabling environment for MGR research.

Carmen Paz Martí, Spain, asked about impacts of climate change on Alaskan native communities.
Around the ICP

EU delegates conferred during the afternoon session.

Related Links

UNICPOLOS Site.
UN Division for Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS).
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - Chapter 17.

Related ENB Coverage

Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of the Ad Hoc Working Group on marine biodiversity
Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of UNICPOLOS-7
Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of UNICPOLOS-6
Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of UNICPOLOS-5
Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of UNICPOLOS-4

Linkages Update.
Oceans-L oceans policy news and announcement Listserve.
MEA-L Multilateral Environmental Agreements Listserve.
Africa Regional Coverage.

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