Paper on ABS: an innovative financing tool

Earlier this month I found an interesting article from IP Watch, in which it refers to a paper published in the Asian Biotechnology and Development Review and entitled, “Access and Benefit Sharing as an Innovative Financing Mechanism” suggests that ABS requirements should be looked at as an innovative financing tool more than only a tool to prevent biopiracy.

“We need to stop looking at ABS through the lenses of the Nagoya Protocol negotiations where the focus is to prevent biopiracy at all costs,” it says. “Instead we now have to start viewing ABS as an innovative financing mechanism than a regulatory burden.”

The authors are Balakrishna Pisupati, senior research fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway, and Sanjay K Bavikatte, a fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, UNU-Institute of Advanced Studies in Japan.

The paper encourages countries to prioritise “modest but steady revenues from ABS over infrequent but big pay offs.” It also calls for prioritising “cooperation over competition when it comes to shared genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.” And it proposes to prioritise “incentives over penalties to motivate compliance with ABS laws.”

The paper, citing another study, says: “If over 50 per cent of pharmaceutical products in the market now are derived from genetic resources or inspired by natural compounds, the global market for pharmaceutical products alone should hold enormous resourcing potential for prospecting based financing for biodiversity conservation agenda.”

You can access the full paper here.

Read the full article on IP Watch here.