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Equitable benefit-sharing or self-interest?

Krystyna Swiderska

Opinion paper, 2 pages

A legally binding protocol on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing is to be adopted by the 193 governments that are party to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. The protocol aims to ensure that the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources are shared fairly and equitably with biodiversity-rich but financially poor countries. This could help reverse the rapid loss of biodiversity and genetic
resources. But unless governments make some major progress in their final negotiating session, the protocol will make little difference.

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The current system of intellectual property rights is designed to promote commercial and scientific innovation. It offers little scope for protecting the knowledge rights of indigenous peoples, traditional farmers and healers, whose survival requires collective – not exclusive – access to new knowledge and innovations.

More at www.iied.org:
Protecting community rights over traditional knowledge

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