Quick updates on laws with regards to the Nagoya Protocol

NPlogoDuring these last months, I came across several small articles in the news about ABS laws that are in development.

Find below a short selection of the news I found:

Kenya: According to a recent article of IP Watch, they remind us that in 2009, the Kenyan government had adopted its first national policy framework: the National Policy on Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Traditional Cultural Expressions.

The Kenyan patent system recognises innovations based on genetic resources and provides the framework for investment in the development of the new products. With a comprehensive legislative and policy framework on genetic resources, the local communities are able to benefit from the exploitation of not only the genetic resources but their intellectual property as well.

The national constitution, especially Article 69, is also charged with genetic resources and intellectual properties. Article 69(1)(c) further states that the State shall “protect and enhance intellectual property in, and indigenous knowledge of, biodiversity and the genetic resources of the communities”. Read more here.

India: According to the Indian Express, since 2003, India is working on several laws with regards to biodiversity. As under the Biodiversity Act, foreign companies require the NBA’s (National Biodiversity Authority) prior approval to access India’s biological resources and traditional knowledge. Domestic companies do not need prior approval but must intimate the state biodiversity board concerned. In the absence of notified guidelines, few companies, or even state biodiversity boards, have complied with these provisions. It seems that local governments have been under pressure of powerful industry lobbies to hold back the development of guidelines. Read more here.

Canada: According to Lexology, an innovative, web-based service that provides company law departments and law firms with a depth of free practical know-how on Canadian legal framework, Canada is slow in ratifying the Nagoya Protocol. Read more here.

Madagascar: Last Novembre, the Service d’appui à la gestion de l’environnement (SAGE) organised a workshop to reinforce the participants knowledge on the functioning of the ABS concept and the key points of the Nagoya Protocol. Awareness and information on the relevance of the ABS to local communities, moreover traditional knowledge had been addressed. Boeny authorities, local community’s representatives, traditional practitioners and private sectors, as well as Mahajanga University representatives participated in this workshop.

A national workshop should have taken place in December 2014, where an action plan with regards to biodiversity use will be presented and then discussed at the National Assembly. Read more here.