"Group of 17 countries" to resist exploitation of bio resources 
 
 

(Note: The language deception is clear, as is the intent by the United Nations to control -- while acting as the 'big brother' -- all the resources, including human, of these countries. Just look at how it salivates to run the show.)
 
 
January 20, 2005
 
 
(no author provided at originating website)
 
 
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New Delhi, India - The ''Group of 17 countries,'' known as the Like Minded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC), decided to evolve an international regime to prevent the use of developing countries as a 'hunting field' by developed countries and Multinational companies [MNCs] as far as the bio-diversity domain is concerned.
 
At a five-day crucial meeting held here on Thursday, the LMM countries felt that a binding international legal regime should be developed to prevent illegal access and use of genetic resources and associated knowledge, Intellectual Property Rights in relation to biological resources and traditional knowledge.
 
Briefing mediapersons on the deliberations of the meeting, Union Environment Minister A Raja said that the meeting had codified the demands of the LMM countries and evolved its common position on issues of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). 
 
This would be effectively used for negotiations in the third meeting of the Ad-hoc, Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from February 14-18, under the aegis of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
 
''Sustainable use of bio-diversity can only be accomplished by establishing a system of access that requires agreements to preserve genetic resources, measures environmental impact, provides evidence of prior and informed consent by host governments and local communities and ensures fair and equitable sharing of benefits deriving from genetic resources and traditional knowledge,'' he said.
 
The LMM countries lauded India's Biological Diversity Act of 2002 and its provision that prior approval of National Biodiversity Authority is necessary before applying for any kind of intellectual property rights based on any research or information on a biological resource obtained from India.
 
Mr Raja said the other member countries in the Group favoured enactment of a similar legislation in their countr[ries] to effectively prevent exploitation of developing countries and MNCs.
 
The minister said India's biological resources and traditional knowledge would be digitized to prevent any misuse.
 
Stating that bio-diversity had become a subject of intense trade negotiations, Mr Raja pointed out that issues such as bio-piracy, bio-prospecting, access and benefit sharing had been catapulted to prominence, adding that ''these issues appear to be compounded by the apparent lack of harmonisation between the two major international instruments namely Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
 
In this context, he said India had been advocating in various international fora, such as [the Convention on Biodiversity] CBD, WTO (World Trade Organisation) and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) that Article 29 of the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement dealing with disclosure in patent application should require mandatory disclosure in patent application of the origin of biological resources and traditional knowledge used in the technological invention, and an undertaking that the prevalent laws and practices of the country of origin had been respected.
 
Incorporation of such a provision would reconcile the inherent contradictions in the provisions of TRIPS and CBD.
 
India hosted the LMMC meeting in its capacity as the President of the Group, which holds about 60 to 70 per cent of all biodiversity and is now well recognised as an important negotiating block in the UN and other international fora.
 
Organised in cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the United Nations Development Programme, the meet was attended by ministers, experts, government officials and various stakeholders.
 
Besides India, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa and Venezuela are the members of the LMMC group.
 
Copyright 2005, Deccan Herald.