A journalist’s guide to biodiversity access and benefit-sharing

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Biodiversity
A journalist’s guide to biodiversity access and benefit-sharing.

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There’s a multi-billion-dollar yearly trade in medicines, foodstuffs and industrial products derived from plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. But many such products have been commercialized without any of the profits returning to the countries and communities whose biodiversity and traditional knowledge made the innovation possible. And in some cases, biological resources have been accessed illegally.

Speakers:

Krystyna Swiderska | Principal Researcher, International Institute for Environment and Development

Alejandro Lago | Manager of the UNDP GEF Global ABS Project

Discussion: Speakers briefly discussed the following topics.

  1. What is Biopiracy?
  2. Commercialization of biological materials without any of the profits returning to the countries and communities.
  3. Illegal access to biological resources.
  4. Nagoya Protocol — to ensure legal access and guarantee that any benefits arising from the use of genetic resources are shared fairly and equitably.
  5. The impact of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) and national ABS laws/policies.

Topics

Biodiversity | Journalism Skills | Policies and Conventions

Tags

Biodiversity | Equity | Policies and Conventions| Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous knowledge

Beating the Biopirates

There is a multi-billion-dollar yearly trade in medicines, foodstuffs and industrial products derived from plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. However, many such products have commercialised without any profits returning to the countries and communities whose biodiversity and traditional knowledge made the innovation possible. And in some cases, biological resources have been accessed illegally.

That is why, in 2010, parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) reached a new agreement — called the Nagoya Protocol — to ensure legal accesses and guarantee that any benefits arising from the use of genetic resources are shared fairly and equitably. 

But what exactly is Access and benefit-sharing?

What are countries doing to meet their CBD commitments and ensure that companies meet their legal obligations? Are benefits flowing where they should?

Webinar Summary:

This discussion described the impact of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) and national ABS policies. 

Specifically, this legal framework is being used by the private sector, researchers, indigenous peoples, and local communities from 27 countries to develop innovative products to implement the SDGs.

What is Biopiracy?

Biopiracy means the unethical or unlawful appropriation or commercial exploitation of biological materials (such as medicinal plant extracts) that are native to a particular country or territory without providing fair financial compensation to the people or government of that country or territory.

Any case?

Jack Lo Lau, a Peruvian journalist, explained how Chinese Businessmen took maca powder from Peru without permission.

In the early 2000s, what has happened with maca is not China’s fault; it is Peru’s fault for letting their products leave the country and not protecting themselves.

About Zulker Naeen

Zulker Naeen is a freelance journalist, covers stories of climate change-induced food insecurity, natural calamities, and migration. As a citizen of one of the most climate-vulnerable nations, Zulker focuses his work on climate change. Zulker works with the Climate Tracker to report climate resiliency for vulnerable women and access to climate finance. 

He involves in the Climate Tracker South Asia network, which improves the environmental consciousness of youth. 

He is also one of the Bangladeshi to win the South Asia Fellowship under Climate Tracker, is a global media network closely works on Climate Change. 

Zulker has completed the Train the Trainer: Effective Climate Change Communication, an initiative to convert this workshop resource into replicable modules, to empower qualified journalists to deliver training on the major climate journalism topics, and to establish a certification process for journalists. 

Zulker has a master’s degree in Communications and a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and Journalism from the University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh.

He has developed courses with the support of other Climate Tracker staff. As a young climate advocate, his fellowship aims to share knowledge of climate change.

A journalist's guide to biodiversity access and benefit-sharing

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