India and Nagoya Protocol
For India and other developing countries, it was a hard-fought triumph because this new international treaty ensures that the benefits of natural resources and their commercial derivatives were shared with local communities.
- India is incoming president of the next summit and the protocol matters a lot as both derivatives and pathogens are part of the ABS.
Points that Matter
- The new the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) rules mean that multinational companies will have to share their profits with local communities not only for using the original resource, but also any derivative products developed from it.
- The ABS is the result of almost two decades of U.N. negotiations, where India leads a group of 17 mega diverse countries with rich reserves of exploitable natural resources.
- International drug firms will also have to pay to use human genetic material such as pathogens – the germs responsible for virus pandemics which are used to develop lucrative vaccines. “Otherwise, these companies just take our pathogens, make the vaccine, and then make us pay billions of dollars to buy it from them.
India’s Agenda for 2012:
In order to bring the American companies into the ramifications of this agreement, the U.N.’s Convention on Biological Diversity must be linked to the World Trade Organisation’s intellectual property agreement. “the TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) must be amended to bring the U.S. into the mainstream. That is my single point agenda…to wrap up before Delhi 2012 – Jai Ram Ramesh
The countries at Nagoya also agreed to bring “natural capital” into national accounting systems so that the trillions of dollars worth of benefits that nature provides to economies are valued. India will take the lead by undertaking a national study on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity soon.