Compromise UN Protocol Treaty Against Biopiracy Adopted In Japan 29/10/2010 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 10 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)With a standing ovation in the early hours of the morning of Saturday, in Nagoya, Japan, an international instrument aimed at preventing misappropriation of genetic resources was adopted by members of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The protocol is also intended to ensure that benefits accrued from the use of those genetic resources are shared equitably with the provider country. Along with the protocol on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation on access and benefit sharing, over 40 decisions were adopted, and among them a decision on the strategic plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for the years 2011-2020, as well as a decision on resource mobilisation strategy. The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10) the 1992 CBD met from 18-29 October. The Access and Benefit Sharing Protocol, nicknamed the “Nagoya Protocol,” was dubbed by the president of COP 10, Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto of Japan, to be the “long cherished dream of the parties.” The draft text itself had been discussed for months in an effort to reach agreement, through late yesterday (IPW, Biodiversity/Genetic Resources/Biotech, 27 October 2010). This morning, a new clean text was presented to the COP plenary session, after Matsumoto, the co-chairs of the working group negotiating the text, and regional representatives had convened once more. The text from the morning of 29 October is available here. During the plenary, some countries remarked that the protocol was not strong enough. Venezuela said that eight years ago the country wanted a strong agreement to prevent piracy with efficient tools but, the delegate said, the ABS protocol has suffered many changes since the first draft and the country was now very concerned about nature being turned into merchandise. Cuba said they did not agree with the document, but would not stand in the way of its adoption. Namibia’s delegate said that looking at the expectations, the protocol “was not the best document” but “we can live with it” as a starting point. She referred in particular to Article 25 which states that the parties should undertake a review of the protocol four years after the entry into force of the instrument and “thereafter at intervals determined by” the COP. Bolivia said that the protocol did not fully include the opinion of state parties and asked that the country position of disagreement with the text be recorded. The World Wildlife Fund issued a statement today welcoming the adoption of a new ten year biodiversity rescue plan, and said “the Nagoya protocol is an historic achievement, ensuring that the often immense value of genetic resources is more equitably shared.” However, WWF said developed countries “were unable to mobilise an immediate injection of major new funding” but still managed to “reach agreement on a plan to identify the necessary funding by 2012 to implement” the rescue plan. Lila Feisee, vice president for global intellectual property policy of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, said that BIO “has significant concerns that some of the language of the text would result in retroactive application of the protocol. Retroactive application of the protocol would have a chilling effect on current and future R&D activity on genetic materials and would have the opposite effect of that desired by the CBD.” Matsumoto and Ahmed Djoghlaf, the CBD executive secretary, hailed it a victory. The adoption of the Nagoya Protocol is important both for users and providers, said Matsumoto. “It will further enhance the welfare of all mankind.” Japan will serve as chair until the next COP, in 2012, in India, Matsumoto said. Djoghlaf said that COP 10 was record breaking with a record of more than 18,000 participants, including 122 ministers and 120 parliamentarians, and record pledges for financial support. The ETC Group, at a press conference today, also acclaimed the decision of COP 10 on a moratorium on geo-engineering, which it called the “large scale manipulation of the planet,” like ocean fertilisation with particles to provoke a plankton bloom supposed to absorb carbon dioxide. With the moratorium, no geo-engineering will take place until a clear understanding of the impacts on the environment and health is evaluated, they said. This is a proof of what the multilateral system can achieve, they said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Compromise UN Protocol Treaty Against Biopiracy Adopted In Japan" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.