Fair Trade Biodiversity

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the 12 nations were seeking ways to cooperate to ensure that more corporate profits from exploiting rare plants and animals would be shared by the developing nations from which the resources originated.

March 8, 2006 -- By Melissa Mathis, Greenspan

 

TB Announced   A new study found that 46% of the Amazon plants studied fight TB!

ARPA (The Amazon Region Protected Areas program)  preserves a full third of the Amazon rainforest.

TUMUCUMAQUE    (too-moo-koo-mah-kay) was the first ARPA reserve. It's four times the size of Yellowstone.

Email Campaigns:  Sending letters and emails to elected officials is one way to let them know your preferences regarding U.S. involvement in protecting the environment.

McDonald's and the Amazon

Pressing Issue  How can we look our children and grandchildren in the eye, and say that when we were kids we loved the pandas, lions and whales, but then as grownups we destroyed them?

FREE BOOKS   Save a tree; read for free!  Books on CDProject Gutenberg | Wikipedia | On-Line Books

 Twelve Third World nations want developed countries and global corporations to pay for access to their plants, animals, and folklore. The 12 are Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, and Venezuela. All of the nations host highly diverse species.

By joining forces, the countries intend to seek high prices for pharmaceutical companies and corporations to harvest and benefit from their nations biodiversity. If a medical formula (such as a cure for cancer) is found in the jungle, or any research based on information from indigenous people's folklore is conducted with beneficial results, the nations want the researchers to be authorized by the respective country and community, and they want to receive fair financial compensation from products derived from their resources.

Third World countries are complaining about bio-piracy because they received very little compensation from pharmaceutical firms. These companies retain the property rights for drugs and genetically-modified organisms derived from the flora (plant life) and fauna (animal life) in developing countries.

The problem is with the World Trade Organizations' (WTO) Trade-Related Intellectual Property (TRIP) rules. The rules allow for bio-piracy, and Third World countries want to close the gap, and benefit from their greatest national treasures and resources. New TRIP rules are being written to allow companies access to genetic resources, but researchers must first get the consent of the host country, and agree the their terms.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the 12 nations were seeking ways to cooperate to ensure that more corporate profits from exploiting rare plants and animals would be shared by the developing nations from which the resources originated. He said, "Developed countries have been extracting knowledge accumulated over thousands of years by the indigenous people... about the use of medical plants. They've been extracting resources of biodiversity from our countries without paying a cent."

Klaus Toepher, the head of the U.N. Environment Program, said, "There is a common interest for a solution, so that trade and the use of genetic resources is done in a sustainable way."   (Read More)

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