Biodiversity Negotiators Seek To Finalise Draft Access, Benefit-Sharing Regime 22/03/2010 by Kaitlin Mara, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Print This Post Delegates to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity today begin the last formal meeting before a late-2010 deadline to negotiate an agreement ensuring fair and equitable access to and benefits from the world’s scarce biological resources. Several on-the-ground participants were optimistic that breakthroughs this week seem likely, as two informal meetings and several guiding papers from the working group’s chairs have laid out a path forward through what might otherwise be a daunting number of disagreements. The event is the ninth formal meeting of the “Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing,” tasked with developing an international regime on access and benefit-sharing. It is taking in Cali, Colombia from 22-28 March; the international regime is meant to be adopted at the decision-making CBD Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan 19-29 October, 2010. While the last formal meeting in November succeeded in uniting a series of divergent views into a single text, delegates worried about the “thousand brackets” – that is, remaining areas of disagreement – that still pepper the official text [pdf] (IPW, Biodiversity, 24 November 2009). But since November, there have been two informal meetings: a “friends of the co-chairs” gathering from 26-29 January and an “co-chairs informal inter-regional consultation” from 16-18 March. Separate regional and inter-regional consultations took place 20-21 March. A guidance note [pdf] from the co-chairs of the Access and Benefit-Sharing Working Group as well as two “non-papers” (available here [pdf] and here [pdf]) are meant to push forward towards consensus. [Update: delegates are currently agreeing on a process for organising negotiations [pdf] this week, which includes a “no brackets” approach, a source has told Intellectual Property Watch] There is still critical work to do, and issues such as the legal nature of the regime – i.e. the parts of it which will be legally binding – as well as how intellectual property will fit into the regime are going to take some discussing. More details are expected to be available as the negotiation progresses. Related Articles: Hopes Fading For Concluding Biodiversity Access And Benefit Sharing Negotiations? Biodiversity Benefit-Sharing Treaty Negotiators Tackle New Text As Clock Ticks Nations Begin Signing Protocol On Biodiversity Access And Benefit-Sharing Kaitlin Mara may be reached at email@example.com."Biodiversity Negotiators Seek To Finalise Draft Access, Benefit-Sharing Regime" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.