Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Nagoya: A headache just for developing countries?

Nagoya is not as sexy as TRIPS?
Afro-IP is lending its voice to a very important post, by Leofriend Darren Smyth, which sadly received little attention on our sister blog - despite the EU masters taking it seriously. It is important because it explains how the UK has decided to play its part in ensuring that organisations share the benefit of genetic resources with the countries from which they have been obtained.

When this Leo saw the post, his immediate thought was that it may well not be the cup of tea of the majority on IPKat (cf. here); but, on second thought, he doubts whether the subject-matter would've generated a great deal of enthusiasm here. Previous Afro-IP posts are here and here. [Afro Leo says: "Perhaps some see Nagoya as one of those charitable side dishes legal thingummies for the benefit of developing and least-developing countries."]

Afro Leo might have a point if one considers the context provided in a nice little piece by Elsa Tsioumani (University of Edinburgh). Ms Tsioumani says:

 The turnout looks like the blog interest
"...Most of the world’s biodiversity is found in developing countries; whereas developed countries usually host research institutes and companies that make commercial use of this biodiversity. In light of the asymmetries between States providing and using genetic resources, as well as growing expectations concerning the commercial value of biodiversity, ABS [i.e. the Protocol] was conceived as a tool for equity and as an opportunity for sustainable development. 

The idea behind it was quite simple: developing countries host most of the world’s biodiversity and thus genetic resources; commercial products developed on the basis of these genetic resources benefit mostly companies and consumers in developed countries; part of these benefits should flow back to the countries of origin of genetic resources."

It seems our friends at Spicy IP (e.g. here and here) are doing better on this topic. Please head over to the IPKat with any comments; alternatively, let's turn Nagoya into an attractive legal instrument right here on Afro-IP. 

Extra bits
Nagoya Protocol is here
Governments agree to make Nagoya work here
Study on the Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in the EU and its impact is here
Nagoya implications for UNCTAD BioTrade initiative and BioTrade actors are here (draft copy)

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