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France : The fight against biopiracy and the Nagoya Protocol...

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In 1992, the Rio Convention on Biodiversity set the goal of fighting practices known as biopiracy and which are generally seen in developing countries.

These involve identifying certain genetic resources of a country and indigenous traditional knowledge that may be linked to their use, developing them, protecting them through patents and extracting commercial gain without any benefit to the indigenous populations in question. The Nagoya Protocol, an extension of the Rio Convention, enshrines a move from mere declarations of intent to concrete measures.

The Nagoya Protocol has been ratified by more than 100 countries, including France and its main goal is to ensure that each member country incorporates into its national law provisions seeking to :

  • make access to genetic resources in its territory, and such traditional knowledge as may be linked thereto, the subject of a system of prior registration or authorisation ;
  • ensure that the advantages arising from the use of the said resources and knowledge are indeed shared with indigenous populations.


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