“Most Important” Biodiversity Access/Benefit MeetingPublished on 9 November 2009 @ 1:19 pm
Intellectual Property Watch
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity is this week undertaking what it said could be the most important negotiation in its history. The CBD is negotiating details of a fair and equitable access and benefit sharing (ABS) regime – in particular, the use of traditional knowledge as related to genetic resources and capacity building and compliance issues, a press release said yesterday.
The Ad-Hoc Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing had a breakthrough agreement in May 2008, at which point it agreed to meet three times before its October 2010 deadline for a finalised international regime. Each of the three meetings were given set goals.
This is the second meeting since the May 2008 decision, but it is tasked finishing text on issues considered especially critical for developing countries: compliance with ABS principles and capacity building (IPW, Biodiversity, 30 May 2008). This is also the meeting in which intellectual property is most likely to arise, in determining principles for technology transfer and for the relationship of traditional knowledge and genetic resources.
While discussions over access and benefit sharing for genetic resources are occurring in several other international fora, including the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the World Health Organization, the CBD regime is likely to become operational first, and might serve as a model for future such systems.