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Side Event

Access and Benefit Sharing: Real Problems and False Solutions

Global Forest Coalition

Date and Time
10 October 2007 13:15 - 14:50

Fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS WG 5)

While governments fiddle with false solutions like minor adaptations in patent law, biopiracy is growing unabated. All over the world new cases of shameless biopiracy have been reported over the past years. Addressing these problems requires a fundamental review of existing intellectual property right regimes, including the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights agreement of the World Trade Organization. Some of the most valid proposals to adapt these regimes have been dismissed by industry and their governmental allies as "unrealistic", but it is far more unrealistic to presume that minor adaptations in existing intellectual property right systems would lead to fair and equitable access and benefit sharing. The side event will expose some of the real stories of biopiracy and highlight proposals to adapt legal systems governing biodiversity, traditional knowledge and intellectual rights to the realities of Indigenous Peoples and other holders of traditional knowledge.