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KEY PUBLICATIONS AND ONLINE RESOURCES
BIODIVERSITY AND WILDLIFE
This page was updated on: 01/12/10
(IUCN, ICTSD, CIEL, IDDRI and QUNO, November 2005) This collection of essays, written by experts in the field, aims to shed light on the utility of disclosure requirements as a means for integrating biodiversity concerns into intellectual property systems. Selim Louafi and Brendan Tobin examine the potential of user measures to resolve potential conflicts between the WTO and the CBD; Maria Julia Oliva and Ann Perrault address issues of prior informed consent and access to genetic resources; Michael Gollin examines the feasibility of national requirements for disclosure of origin; David Vivas-Eugui and Manuel Ruiz consider the justification, scope and legal effects of an effective disclosure mechanism; Begoña Venero examines the disclosure requirement at the international level and the role of the TRIPS Agreement; Graham Dutfield addresses a range of legal and policy issues related to disclosure of origin; and Felix Addor examines Switzerland’s proposals for disclosure of the source of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, and its proposed amendments to the Patent Cooperation Treaty Regulations. The book.
(Wuppertal Institute, 2005) Authored by Carolina Lasén Diaz, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive background and overview of key issues, debates and positions related to the international regulation and application of intellectual property rights over biological resources. This includes biotechnology and the use and protection of the traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities. It provides two case studies on how intellectual property rights affect biodiversity and traditional knowledge, and examines the international governance of biodiversity and intellectual property rights, focusing on the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the TRIPS Agreement. It also examines the increasing impacts of bilateral agreements that govern intellectual property rights in conjunction with the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), and analyses their relationship with the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the CBD. The paper.
(IIED, 2005) Edited by Tom Bigg and David Satterthwaite, this book includes eight chapters on issues such as land and property rights in sub-Saharan Africa, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in urban areas, and the role of local organizations in farming, environment and people’s access to food. A chapter authored by Neema Pathak, Ashish Kothari and Dilys Roe addresses issues of conservation and social justice, and the role of community conserved areas in achieving the MDGs. The book.
(FAO, 2005) This FAO training manual explores the linkages between local knowledge systems, gender roles and relationships, the conservation and management of agricultural biodiversity, and food security. It aims at strengthening the institutional capacity in the agricultural sector, and at recognizing and fostering these linkages in the relevant programmes and policies. It contains modules on: the key concepts of agrobiodiversity, gender and local knowledge in the context of improved food security; the sustainable livelihoods framework as an analytical tool; the relationship between agrobiodiversity and gender; the dynamic nature of the relationship between agrobiodiversity and local knowledge; and a case study reflecting the conceptual aspects. The training manual.
The main conclusions and recommendations of the Ministerial Conference on biotechnology of the Economic Community of West African States, held in June 2005, in Bamako, Mali, are available online. For the next two years, the conference recommended increased investments through partnerships between the private and public sectors, ratification of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety as soon as possible, the adoption of national biosafety policies and legislation, and implementation of the regional strategic plan on biosafety. The conference conclusions.
(MA, December 2005) The sixth synthesis report from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) – on “Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Health Synthesis” – was released by the World Health Organization at a press briefing held in conjunction with the Scientific Conference on Asia Pacific Environmental Health. The report finds that, in poor countries and especially in rural areas, the health of human populations is highly dependent on the services of local productive ecosystems for food. Other key findings include that:
The report concludes that, despite net gains, the harm to human health because of ecosystem degradation is already being felt and could worsen significantly over the next 50 years. It identifies two routes to avoiding disease and injury caused by ecosystem disruption. The first is to prevent, limit or manage environmental damage; the second is to take action to protect individuals and populations from the consequences of ecosystem change. MA press release, 9 December 2005 and the report.
(FAO, 2005) This document provides a summary of the main issues discussed during a moderated e-mail conference on the topic, hosted by the FAO Biotechnology Forum from 6 June to 4 July 2005. It is based on the messages posted by the participants. The document.
(Open Society Justice Initiative, September 2005) This report assesses the availability of legal remedies for addressing corrupt practices in the natural resource industries. Looking at both criminal and civil means of redress, the report reviews some of the main legal instruments used to date to combat natural resource corruption, as well as new legal remedies that appear promising, in order to identify opportunities for civil society action. The report.
(European Academies Science Advisory Council, 2005) Commissioned by the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament, this report is intended to give policy makers the tools to engage in discussions about biological diversity. It consists of a systematic description of 17 different indicators related to particular biodiversity aspects, and an analysis of their current and potential utility. The report.
(Precautionary Principle Project, October 2005) Developed by the Precautionary Principle Project, a joint initiative of Fauna and Flora International, IUCN - The World Conservation Union, ResourceAfrica and TRAFFIC, these guidelines are the product of an international consultative process carried out from 2002 to 2005, involving a wide range of experts and stakeholders. The guidelines and the Precautionary Principle Project website.
(Panos Institute, 2005) Written by Ehsad Masood, this report explores the politics of decision-making on GM crops in developing countries. It draws on case studies from Brazil, India, Kenya, Thailand and Zambia, examining decision-making processes and the media coverage of GMO crops. Despite differences among countries, the report draws some broad conclusions about how governments make decisions and who has access to decision-making. The report.
(UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, August 2005) Prepared by a group led by the British Trust for Ornithology, this report draws together broad research on the effects of climate change on migratory wildlife. It warns that climate change could affect and disrupt breeding, hamper migrations, and increase disease transmission in migratory birds and animals. The report.
This website aims to facilitate trade in food and agriculture products and support the implementation of the World Trade Organization’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement by providing a single access point for authorized official international and national information across the sectors of food safety, animal and plant health. The website was organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Convention on Biological Diversity, Codex Alimentarius Commission, International Plant Protection Convention, World Organization for Animal Health, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization. The portal.
(WTO, October 2005) The World Trade Organization has developed a webpage designed to answer questions about the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and its provisions on licensing for pharmaceuticals. According to the WTO, the issue is the subject of “a certain amount of confusion.” The webpage.
(FAO, 2005) This document aims to provide a summary of the main issues discussed during a moderated e-mail conference, hosted by the FAO Biotechnology Forum from 17 January to 13 February 2005. The major themes of the conference were: if, and to what degree, the rural people of developing countries should participate in decision-making regarding GMOs; misinformation and the type and quality of information required; appropriate communication channels; costs; international agreements/guidelines; and scepticism about the public participation process. The document.
(Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, September 2005) Written by Steve Suppan, this briefing outlines the key issues in the WTO case regarding biotech products, brought by the US, Canada and Argentina against the EC, arguing that the ruling will very likely be treated as a precedent by future WTO panels ruling on food safety, public health and environmental health measures applied to international traded goods and services. The briefing.
(WWF, IWGIA, KULU, Nepenthes, DIIS, August 2005) Edited by Gertrud Bjørning and Elisabeth Kiørboe, for the IGNARM network on indigenous peoples, gender and natural resource management, these guidelines aim to offer some conceptual and practical tools for improving natural resource management activities and to open a dialogue among practitioners as to how gender and indigenous concerns can best be integrated in natural resource management processes. The guidelines.
(FAO, September 2005) Issued by the FAO at the time of the 2005 World Summit, this report argues that, to reduce hunger, it is essential that a larger share of new development funding be allocated to agriculture and rural development than in past decades. Pointing to research showing that agricultural growth, especially if focused on small farmers, is the most important engine for the creation of employment and income for the poor, the report stresses that adequate public funding for essential public goods, such as infrastructure, research and capacity building, is a necessary prerequisite for private investment in agriculture. FAO’s press release, 14 September 2005 and the report.
(WWF, July 2005) Authored by Bill Phillips, this discussion paper proposes that Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) develop and adopt a “mountains to the sea” implementation plan to make national application of its thematic work programmes simpler and, through more integrated delivery, more cost-effective. Realizing that the proliferation of work programmes under the CBD has created an institutional challenge for Parties and sometimes hampers implementation, the proposed draft implementation plan aims to be a tool to help Parties implement CBD’s expansive agenda. The discussion paper.
(PEP, 2005) This report from the Poverty-Environment Partnership develops a framework for analyzing the contribution of natural resources to human well-being and sets out an agenda for public investment and policy reform. The report and other PEP papers and additional resources.
(German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, 2005) Authored by Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, League for Pastoral Peoples. This paper discusses the case for an international treaty on animal genetic resources, equivalent to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The author argues that there is a strong rationale for an international legal framework, noting that one-third of the world’s livestock breeds are endangered, livestock breeds are linked to cultural diversity and they occur across borders. Adding that remote, arid and semi-arid areas have given rise to a disproportionately large number of different breeds, she notes that many of the countries and regions that are richest in animal genetic resources are among the most food-insecure, while their pastoral populations are among the poorest in the world. She concludes that an international legal framework would seek to create a level playing field between dryland production systems that conserve genetic diversity, and intensive and industrialized systems that erode it, while dryland countries with pastoral populations and rich animal genetic resources could form a negotiating bloc. The paper.
(CBD, August 2005) The official report of the CBD meeting of donor agencies and other relevant organizations to discuss options for mobilizing new and additional funding for the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas, held from 20-21 June 2005, in Montecatini, Italy, is available online at: http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meetings/pa/padonors-01/official/padonors-01-03-en.pdf
(IFAW-UK, July 2005) For this report, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) UK monitored the nature and scale of wildlife trade on the Internet over several months, and found for sale an array of species in which all commercial trade is legally prohibited or strictly regulated. In a single week, 146 live primates, 5527 elephant products, 526 turtle and tortoiseshells, 2630 reptile products and 239 wild cat products for sale. The report also reviews the legal framework and current enforcement efforts and provides a number of recommendations to governments, enforcement agencies and site owners. The report. More information on wildlife trade on the Internet.
(South Center, June 2005) Authored by A. Latif, this paper underlines the need for developing countries to bring coordination to the forefront of their concerns in the participation in international intellectual property rule-making. It analyzes the lack of coordination by developing countries as a result both of the growing complexity of global intellectual property governance and the fragmentation of policy making on intellectual property in many developing countries. It then focuses on improving coordination at the national level, and assesses coordination between developing countries in the WTO TRIPS Council, WIPO and the CBD. Finally, the report makes a number of recommendations to be considered by developing countries. The paper.
(International Food Policy Research Institute, 2005) This paper sets out IFPRI’s strategy for the next decade, at a time of persistently high hunger and malnutrition in the developing world, a changing policy environment, promising new technologies and global health crises. The Institute’s research priorities are categorized under: global food system functioning; global and national food system governance; and food system innovations. The strategy.
(IUCN, 2005) Authored by R.J. Fisher, Stewart Maginnis, W.J. Jackson, Edmund Barrow and Sally Jeanrenaud, this book focuses on conservation's potential to contribute actively to poverty reduction and long-term sustainable development. The authors argue that attempts to reconcile development and conservation needs have failed in the past not because they are irreconcilable but because integration has been limited both institutionally and in terms of geographic scale. The book highlights several arguments in favor of linking poverty reduction with conservation, and discusses some strategies for achieving this, including: focusing on removing constraints (particularly institutional limitations) and building opportunities; identifying causes of environmental degradation and poverty beyond the site level and addressing problems at the appropriate geographical and institutional level; and using landscape-level solutions as well as site-based solutions, and seeking ways to meet objectives in different parts of the wider landscape rather than trying to address them all in a single site, such as a protected area. The book.
(WRI/UN, 2005) This is the 11th in a series of biennial reports on global environment and governance issues published jointly by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and the environmental think tank World Resources Institute (WRI). The thesis of this report is that income from ecosystems can act as a fundamental stepping stone in the economic empowerment of the rural poor. The report stresses the urgent need to look beyond aid projects, debt relief and trade reform and focus on local natural resources to address the crisis of poverty in all parts of the world. It finds that, in the past, environmental organizations have not addressed poverty, and development groups have not considered the environment enough. The report.
(UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 2005) Due for release on 1 September 2005, this Atlas seeks to provide the most comprehensive source of information about great apes to date. The Atlas contains new research and contributions from well known figures such as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. More information.
The release of the Atlas is occurring days before the Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) Intergovernmental Meeting in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. More information.
(Development Fund, Norway, February 2005) Authored by Bell Batta Torheim, this document reviews several key issues related to intellectual property rights, access and benefit-sharing, farmers’ rights, and genetically modified organisms. The document.
(IUCN, June 2005) Authored by S. Mainka, J. McNeely and B. Jackson, this document contends that investment in biodiversity conservation will help maintain the flow of ecosystem services and, in turn, yield both immediate and long-term dividends to human wellbeing. The report proposes that, to deliver internationally-agreed development goals, challenges in three key areas need to be addressed relating to governance of natural resources, investment in sustainable management of those resources, and the use of relevant technologies, specifically landscape-scale management. The report proposes specific actions to tackle each of these challenges. The report.
(FAO, July 2005) This summary document provides a summary of the main issues discussed during the Food and Agriculture e-mail conference, hosted by the FAO Biotechnology Forum from 14 June to 15 July 2004. Most of the discussions were about the wide range of traditional fermented foods in developing countries. The document.
(GRAIN, July 2005) The July issue of the non-governmental organization GRAIN’s The Seedling publication examines a number of experiences on seed laws around the world. It is complemented by a collection of developing country legislation on seeds. The publication.
(Convention on Biological Diversity, 2005) Prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, this study provides an analysis of the potential implications for agricultural biodiversity of a reduction in, and reform of, agricultural support activities. It provides an overview of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture and the main developments that followed, and addresses different domestic support policies using the World Trade Organization categorization into “boxes.” It concludes that well-targeted, designed and implemented programmes based on scientifically sound environmental performance indicators can contribute to internalizing the positive external effects of agricultural production on biodiversity. The study.
(TRAFFIC, June 2005) Prepared by Vincent Nijman, this report notes that orang-utans and gibbons are still traded as pets in Java and Bali despite having been legally protected in Indonesia since 1931. The report calls for greater awareness among the judiciary, enforcement agencies and the general public. The report.
(IFPRI, June 2005) Edited by Steven Were Omamo and Klaus von Grebmer, this book brings together experts from within and outside Africa to discuss the current status of biotechnology in southern Africa, the conceptual framework for multistakeholder dialogues, the political and ethical issues surrounding biotechnology, food safety and consumer issues, biosafety, intellectual property rights, and trade involving GM foods. The book.
(World Health Organization, June 2005) This WHO study concludes that GM foods can contribute to development and enhanced human health, but safety assessments should continue, as some of the genes used have not been in the food chain before. The study also recommends that in future, evaluation should be widened to include social, cultural and ethical considerations.
(FAO, May 2005) This annotated bibliography focuses on crop biotechnology, and also includes a small number of studies on forestry and livestock. The bibliography.
(GeneWatch UK and Greenpeace International, 2005) This is a searchable, online register of genetically modified contamination incidents, providing details of all the known cases of GM contamination of food, feed, seed and wild plants that have taken place worldwide.
GeneWatch and Greenpeace press release, June 2005
(WWF, 2005) This report discusses African experience in assessing protected area management effectiveness and puts forward strategies for improving management in Africa. The report.
(FAO, 2005) This report by Z. Dhlamini et al, provides a preliminary analysis of approximately 2000 crop-sector entries from 71 developing countries contained in the FAO database, FAO-BioDeC. The report.
(FAO, June 2005) This document was published as background material for an FAO e-mail conference on “the role of biotechnology for the characterization and conservation of crop, forest, animal and fishery genetic resources in developing countries.” The document gives an overview of the current status of genetic resources in the different food and agricultural sectors and a description of relevant biotechnology, and discusses some factors that may influence applications of biotechnology in developing countries. The document.
(World Bank, May 2005) Authored by Gillette Hall and Harry Patrinos, this study updates findings from a 1994 book. It considers how social conditions have evolved in the five Latin American countries with the largest indigenous populations (Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru) and concludes that, despite their increased political influence, indigenous peoples have made little economic and social progress in the last decade and continue to suffer from higher poverty, lower education and a greater incidence of disease and discrimination that other groups.
(MEA, July 2005) The fourth Millennium Ecosystem report, entitled “Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Industry,” has been released. The report summarizes key trends in ecosystems and their services, particularly ecosystem trends of importance to business, and then reviews how the Millennium Assessment findings affect businesses’ bottom line. The report argues that companies using the Earth’s natural resources more wisely are likely to see bigger profits and enjoy greater long-term stability. The report.
(IUCN, 2005) Responding to the need for information on freshwater biodiversity in east Africa, the IUCN/SSC Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Programme conducted a regional assessment of over 1600 taxa of freshwater fish, molluscs, odonates and crabs from Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Distribution ranges have been mapped for the majority of species, providing a tool for application to the conservation and development planning process. The report.
(UNCTAD, May 2005) Written by Simonetta Zarrilli, this paper examines the challenges of agricultural biotechnology for developing countries. It overviews the provisions of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and their compatibility with WTO rules, as well as national biosafety frameworks. It concludes that it is proving difficult for developing countries to reconcile their trade interests with the responsibility to improve the quantity and quality of agricultural and food products for their people, and with their commitment to environmental preservation. The paper.
(CBD, 2005) Developed by the CBD Secretariat, this guide aims to serve as a tool for programming international financial activities relating to biological diversity. The guide.
(UNU Press, May 2005) Authored by Padmashree Gehl Sampath, this book examines the optimal property rights structures and institutional mechanisms for regulating bioprospecting for drug research. Focusing on the economics of contracts, it shows that the rights exchanged are complementary at each stage of drug discovery and the development of genetic resources. It includes chapters on: the structure of the drug industry; the international legal framework for bioprospecting; transaction costs and their impact on the market for bioprospecting; defining an intellectual property right on traditional medicinal knowledge; the scope of the right to regulate access; and conclusions and policy recommendations. A policy brief from the book.
(BfN, 2005) Authored by Miriam Dross and Franziska Wolff, this book overviews existing national and regional access and benefit-sharing (ABS) laws and policies, and examines elements of the international regime on ABS currently under negotiation in the CBD framework. It reviews the issue of certificates of origin/source/legal provenance, including definitions, implications if they are to cover traditional knowledge, possible frameworks, special users and pre-CBD collections, form, effectiveness and practicality, legal implications, a possible model, and impacts on economic and research actors. The book.
(UNCTAD-ICTSD, April 2005) This book provides background and technical information on the major issues under discussion with regards to intellectual property rights, from a development perspective. The book.
(CBD, 2005) The first component of the ecosystem approach sourcebook is now available online. It is a searchable case study database, containing a number of studies on implementation of the ecosystem approach from different countries and biomes. To search the database or submit a case study, visit: http://www.biodiv.org/programmes/cross-cutting/ecosystem/sourcebook/home.shtml.
(OECD Environment Directorate, Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology, February 2005) This document describes the origin of OECD’s Working Group for Harmonisation in Biotechnology and explains why biosafety consensus documents were included as part of its core work. It also addresses the purpose of these documents and their intended use as a practical contribution to the risk/ safety assessment of transgenic organisms. The document.
(IUCN, 2004) Authored by Bhujangarao Dharmaji, Azain Raban, Balakrishna Pisupati and Helen Baulch and published by IUCN–Regional Biodiversity Programme, Asia, this publication aims to assist in fostering synergies and inter-linkages among the Rio Conventions, using a community approach to achieve sustainable development. It suggests that a focus on the country-driven character of the national adaptation programmes of action could help promote synergy among Conventions, including the promotion of jointly implemented activities and the systematic exchange of information. For a copy of the publication, contact: Bhujangarao Dharmaji.
SCIDEV.NET PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON REGULATION AND PROTECTION OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE
SciDev.Net has added a new focus area on the regulation and protection of traditional medicine in its dossier on indigenous knowledge. The new area highlights key issues in traditional medicine, including global standards and legislation, news and opinion articles, background reading material and links to relevant sites. SciDev’s webpage on traditional medicine.
(IUCN, 2004) Authored by Rosie Cooney, this paper aims to examine issues arising in the translation of the precautionary principle into operational measures in the specific field of biodiversity conservation and natural resource management, as well as issues of sustainable development, poverty reduction and livelihoods as they relate to the precautionary principle. It includes chapters on: the meaning of the precautionary principle; its acceptance in biodiversity and natural resources law and policy; issues and challenges in implementing precaution in biodiversity and natural resource management; and conclusions and current directions. The paper.
(European Commission, March 2005) This document provides an overview of the EU legislation and approval procedures regarding genetically modified organisms.
(CBD Secretariat, February 2004) The second edition of the Handbook of the Financial Mechanism under the Convention on Biological Diversity, including two companions on operations of the Global Environment Facility and biodiversity projects financed by the Global Environment Facility, is available online. The Handbook. The companion on the operations of the GEF. The companion on biodiversity projects financed by the GEF.
(CBD Secretariat, April 2004) The third edition of the Handbook of the Convention on Biological Diversity is available online. It includes the text of the Convention and of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the rules of procedure for meetings of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP), the modus operanti of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, the financial rules for the administration of the Trust Fund for the CBD, as well as all decisions of the CBD COP and of the meeting of the Parties to the Biosafety Protocol. The handbook.
(CBD Secretariat, March 2005) The report of the informal meeting on interoperability among the three Rio and other environmental conventions, held from 2-3 November 2004, in Montreal, Canada, is available online. The report.
(Genetic Resources Policy Committee, March 2005) In a meeting held from 28 February – 2 March 2005, in Patancheru, India, the Genetic Resources Policy Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) finalized the text of the Guiding Principles for the development of the Future Harvest Centers’ policies to address the possibility of unintentional presence of transgenes in ex situ collections. The Guiding Principles will be submitted for adoption by the CGIAR Centers. The Guiding Principles.
MILLENNIUM ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT (MA) SYNTHESIS REPORT
(MA and WRI, 30 March 2005) This report presents the fruits of a four-year study conducted by approximately 1300 experts from 95 countries. The study was designed by the UN Environment Programme, UN Development Programme, World Bank, World Resources Institute, Global Environment Facility and others. Governments, non-governmental organizations, foundations, academic institutions and the private sector also contributed their expertise. The report states that, although evidence remains incomplete, there is enough to warn that the ongoing degradation of 15 of the 24 ecosystem services examined is increasing the likelihood of potentially abrupt changes that will seriously affect human well-being, including the emergence of new diseases, sudden changes in water quality, creation of “dead zones” along the coasts, the collapse of fisheries and shifts in regional climate. The report also states that the ongoing degradation of ecosystem services is a road block to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report. More information.
(IFPRI, 2005) The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has made available the report of the second session of the African Policy Dialogues on Biotechnology, held in September 2004 in Harare, Zimbabwe, the Statement of commitments adopted in September 2004, as well as a series of background papers. These papers cover a range of issues, including “governing biotechnology in Africa: toward consensus on key issues in biosafety” and “agricultural biotechnology, politics, ethics and policy.”
(South Centre, February 2005) This issue of the South Centre’s bulletin focuses on biodiversity issues. Among other articles, the bulletin contains recent speeches by France’s President Jacques Chirac on the need to seek a new distribution of biodiversity benefits, and by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on how the environment is not served by the North-South divide. The February issue also includes the text of the New Delhi Ministerial Declaration on Access and Benefit-sharing of the Like-minded Megadiverse Countries, and a letter from UNEP Executive Director Klaus Tï¿½pfer denying a statement made on his behalf on the incompatibilities of the CBD and the TRIPS agreement.
The World Trade Organizationï¿½s updated website on the revision of Article 27.3(b) of the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement includes submissions by Member States on the relationship between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the TRIPS Agreement, protection of traditional knowledge, and disclosure of origin and prior informed consent in patent applications.
SciDev.Net has updated its dossier on GM crops with two new policy briefs examining challenges for developing countries and regulation for transboundary transport of GMOs.
(Friends of the Earth International, January 2005) Released at the recent 2005 World Social Forum, this report documents the negative social and environmental impacts of water and biodiversity privatization through 34 case studies from around the globe. The report points out that indigenous peoples and local communities in poor countries are losing their lands, which are handed over to logging, tourism and private park management companies. It further notes that the privatization trend is stimulated by the growing market of so-called carbon parks, developed to offset carbon emissions. In addition, the report focuses on the granting of patents over life forms and traditional knowledge.
The Genetic Resources Policy Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is seeking comments on the draft guiding principles for the development of CGIAR policies to address the possibility of unintentional presence of transgenes in ex situ collections of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Comments should be sent to M.Halewood@cgiar.org by 23 February 2005.
BIOSAFETY SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS
The proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on the Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms, held from 26-30 September 2004, in Montpellier, France, are now available online. The symposium, which was attended by participants from 45 countries, covered a variety of topics, including: commercialization and biosafety aspects of Bt and other insecticidal crops; biosafety aspects of virus-resistant transgenic crops; biosafety aspects of the next generation of transgenic crops, including ï¿½pharmaï¿½ crops; commercialization and biosafety aspects of genetically-modified fish; regulation of genetically-modified organisms worldwide; and challenges for biosafety research in developing countries ï¿½ a North-South workshop. The proceedings.
PAPERS FROM EXPERT WORKSHOP ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING
The papers from an international expert workshop on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS) are now available online. The workshop, which was held in Cuernavaca, Mexico, from 24-27 October 2004, was co-hosted by the governments of Canada and Mexico, and co-sponsored by Switzerland. The papers focus on: national access laws, challenges, monitoring and enforcement issues; access, intellectual property rights and biopiracy; the vision for and nature of an international regime on ABS; limits and opportunities for existing intellectual property rights; limits to rights over genetic resources, derivatives, tangible and intangible property rights; new forms of sui generis protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge; indigenous peoples and community-level prior informed consent for accessing traditional knowledge and genetic resources; and measures to ensure compliance with the Convention on Biological Diversity and access legislation. Other issues addressed include mechanisms for monitoring and verification, measures and compliance mechanisms for key actors, and benefit-sharing. The papers.
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