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IX. BIODIVERSITY RESOURCES:

This chapter emphasizes the importance of biodiversity, particularly of marine and coastal species, to SIDS. The paragraph that proved to be the most contentious addressed the rights of those whose indigenous knowledge and know-how of biodiversity are overtaken by commercial exploitation of the resources. After a lengthy debate that began at the PrepCom, the paragraph now reads: "Ensure that the ownership of intellectual property rights is adequately and effectively protected. Ensure, subject to national legislation and policies, that technology, knowledge and customary and traditional practices of local and indigenous people, including resource owners and custodians, are adequately and effectively protected and that they thereby benefit directly, on an equitable basis and on mutually agreed terms, from any utilization of such technologies, knowledge and practices or from any technological development directly derived therefrom."

Other recommendations for national action include: formulate and implement integrated strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and marine biodiversity; ratify and implement the Convention on Biological Diversity; promote the designation of protected areas; generate and maintain gene banks of biogenetic resources; conduct detailed inventories of existing flora, fauna and ecosystems; and support the involvement of NGOs, women, indigenous people, and other major groups in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and biotechnology.

Recommendations for regional and international action include: regional studies of the socio-economic and cultural value of biodiversity; establishment of regional gene-bank centers; coordinated information exchange, training and technical assistance; development of adequate and effective legal mechanisms for the protection of intellectual property rights; provision of improved access to financial and technical resources for the conservation of biodiversity; greater use of import restrictions under the CITES Convention; and protection of SIDS from the introduction of non-indigenous species. [Return to start of article]