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Closed Access item Marine biodiversity and gene patents

Authors:Arnaud-Haond, Sophie
Arrieta López de Uralde, Jesús M.
Duarte, Carlos M.
Issue Date:2011
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
Citation:Science 331: 1521- 1522 (2011)
Abstract:The October 2010 Nagoya conference of the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) saw establishment of the protocol for improved access to genetic resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization (1). This allows effective implementation of provisions in Article 15 of CBD regulating access to genetic resources through mutual agreements between countries of origin of resources and those acquiring them. Yet the principle of sovereign rights of states underlying the CBD does not apply to Marine Genetic Resources (MGRs) in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJs), international waters encompassing 65% of the ocean; thus, no consensus could be reached to include them in this new protocol. Although recent CBD efforts tackled terrestrial genetic resources and those distributed in Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), where states holds rights over marine resources, the increasing industrial use of MGRs, particularly those extracted from ABNJs, occurs in a legal void because of the lack of an internationally accepted framework to ensure ethical and equitable access, and sharing of benefits (2–6). We describe imbalances in ownership of patent claims on MGRs and propose steps toward addressing gaps in governance.
Identifiers:doi: 10.1126/science.1200783
issn: 0036-8075
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos

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