Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Draft Global Regime on Genetic Resources

Three draft documents towards an international system regulating genetic resources, their access and use, have been adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Ad Hoc Open-Ended Inter-Sessional Working Group on Access and Benefit-Sharing. The Working Group has just held its fourth meeting in Granada, Spain, at which drafts were negotiated and ultimately adopted. In his statement at the Opening Session of that meeting, the Executive Secretary of the CBD, Dr Ahmed Djoghlaf, referred to the uncertainty and lack of progress with respect to the operation of Article 15 (Access to Genetic Resources).

The three draft texts (which include a draft international regime, certification of origin, and recommendation on prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms) will be forwarded to the next Conference of the Parties meeting, to be staged in Curitiba, Brazil, 20-31 March.

The process highlights the necessary interaction and communication between attempts to deal with genetic resources in the CBD as well as in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee.

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