Nagoya Protocol – new book release

‘The Nagoya Protocol: Its impact on access & benefit sharing, patent applications and the utilisation of genetic resources’.

Today sees the release in paperback of the first book by Millicent Ligare in this field.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, and entered into force on 12 October 2014.

Now the debates are in full swing across the world about how to implement the protocol at the domestic level.

If you feel perplexed by topics such as “International access and benefit sharing regimes under the CBD, ITPGRA, IGC & TRIPS”- then this is the book for you.

Written for everybody interested in the Nagoya Protocol, those who did not realise it existed, and those who do not know how it will affect them, this concise, but extensively referenced work, is a must for students of the topic.

This book demystifies

  • The historical background to the protection of IPRs
  • What is ‘Access and Benefit Sharing’?
  • The position of ABS under the CBD
  • The position of ABS under the TRIPS Agreement
  • Patent applications and the utilisation of GR, post-CBD and post-TRIPS
  • The implications for ABS, patent applications and utilisation of genetic resources, after Nagoya.

The author: Millicent Ligare is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, and holds an LLM from the University of the West of England, Bristol.

 

Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge in Namibia

The ministry of Environment & Tourism conducted a 3 day workshop in Windhoek Namibia, to help create public awareness on the importance of documenting and protecting IPR’s related to the use of Genetic Resources and associated Traditional Knowledge for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

Namibia is a signatory to the Nagoya Protocol.

The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said that as investors are attracted to Namibia by its natural heritage and its rich traditional knowledge attached to the utilisation of these assets, it was imperative to implement the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) in order to engage and share experiences.

“It is a well-known fact that these assets are vulnerable to overexploitation, which has the potential to uproot them with no chance to grow again. The government is thus committed to counter this threat by ensuring that biodiversity and the ecological goods and services that they provide are used for the long term benefit of Namibians, especially the rural communities,” expounded the environment and tourism minister.

He said in the absence of a law, access to genetic resources and benefit sharing in Namibia has been regulated by the Interim Bio Prospecting Committee (IBPC) established by Cabinet in 2007.

Shifeta said the committee still regulates and facilitates all bio-prospecting and bio-trade activities, while at the same time safeguards them against unlawful exploitation and bio-piracy.

He urged the workshop participants to give priority to strengthening customary laws and value systems of indigenous peoples and local communities in the protection of their traditional knowledge.

The University of Namibia (UNAM) is involved with a project on documenting traditional knowledge.

 

Global Governance of Genetic Resources

Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Access and Benefit Sharing after the Nagoya Protocol (Routledge Research in Global Environmental Governance) edited by Sebastian Oberthür and Kristin Rosendal is to be to be published 1st March 2013 by Routledge. Running to 272 pages, it analyses the status and prospects of the global governance of Access Benefit Sharing (ABS) following the 2010 Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD’s initial 1992 framework of global ABS governance established the objective of sharing the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources fairly between countries and communities. Since then, ABS has been a contested issue in international politics – not least due to the failure of effective implementation of the original CBD framework. The Nagoya Protocol therefore aims to improve and enhance this framework. Compared to the slow rate of progress on climate change, it has been considered a major achievement of global environmental governance, but it has also been coined a ‘masterpiece of ambiguity’. This book analyses the role of a variety of actors in the emergence of the Nagoya Protocol and provides an up-to-date assessment of the core features of the architecture of global ABS governance.

Sebastian Oberthür is Academic Director of the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium, and  Kristin Rosendal is a research Professor at Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway.

 

Is the Value of Bioprospecting Contracts too low?

This is a challenging question indeed, which is addressed in the current issue of  The International Journal of Ecological Economics and Statistics (Vol. 26, Issue No.3, 2012) in its special volume titled “Socioeconomics and Management of Bioprospecting“.
The question of “Is the Value of Bioprospecting Contracts Too Low?” is the title of the Markanya and Nunes paper. As they say:

“In this paper we seek to understand better how a biodiversity resource use value in production is determined, and how the real value is obscured by the fact that the resource is largely open access. We attempt to analyse how  special arrangements, set on top of a basic framework in which the resource open access is limited in what it can achieve and in the ‘price’ that will emerge from any transaction between the buyers of the rights and the sellers of the rights. The whole volume allows us to read the  ideas presented at last October’s CBD conference in Nagoya.”

There is of course a lot more to read:

“This volume is therefore characterized by a selection of papers that address issues such as: incentives for R&D in the economic sectors that use products of bioprospecting; implications of recent legal changes on access to genetic resources on sharing of knowledge; understanding better the nature of partnerships for access and benefit sharing in diverse sectors that use genetic materials; the nature of special agreements for access and benefit sharing and why they result in a low market price for the ‘owners’ of the resources;”Yoy

If not immediately reading the whole text, the abstracts are available at: The International Journal of Ecological Economics and Statistics (Vol. 26, Issue No.3, 2012)