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  • US Fails to Block Progress over Genetic Resources Text at WIPO-IGC 36
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    This is a companion piece to my earlier reflections on the progress being made at WIPO IGC 36. You can read the first post here.    After six days of deliberations (June 24-29, 2018) to secure a mature text for the protection of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, delegates left the negotiations with mixed feeling while remaining resolute…
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  • Crunch Time at WIPO-IGC: A Last Attempt to Draft a New Genetic Resources Text?
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    Pictured above are members of the Africa Group at the WIPO IGC.  On June 26, 2018, the long running World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) reconvened in Geneva for its 36th session. Since 2000, the IGC has had a mandate to negotiate text-based instrument(s) for the effective…
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  • Kinder Morgan: Beyond the Division of Powers Debate – Indigenous Rights at the Crux
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    Image by Mark Klotz via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)   The current debate over the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion reads like a high stakes action movie. It is like a ticking time bomb ready to detonate on May 31st , the date Kinder Morgan has threatened to terminate the entire expansion project unless two conditions are met - protection of shareholders…
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What is the best way to ensure Aboriginal-sensitive access and benefit sharing (ABS) of genetic resources?

We are holding a series of focus groups across the country. Representatives from Aboriginal communities and organizations, governments, civil society, and the private sector will gather to discuss how best to protect Aboriginal interests through access and benefit sharing policies.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION Contact Us

Rosy Periwinkle

Catharanthus roseus is a shrubby flower native to Madagascar. The plant has long been used in traditional medicines. Its root is currently used in the treatment of leukemia and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Recent patents by pharmaceutical companies, without compensation, have led to accusations of biopiracy.

Hoodia

Called Llhoba by the San people of the Namib desert, this spiny succulent is known for its medicinal properties. Its flowers smell like rotten meat and it is pollinated by flies. The plant is popular in western holistic medicine as an appetite suppressant and is being closely studied by pharmaceutical companies.

Teff

Teff, or xaafii in Oromo, is a cereal grain that is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea. Teff is traditionally important in these areas as a food grain because of its high nutritional content. Teff has become popular in the west as gluten-free diets have become more common. It is a frequent ingredient in gluten-free beer.

Endod Berry

Commonly called the African soapberry, endod berries are native to Tropical and Southern Africa. They have traditionally been used as a soap and shampoo. The berry has a number of genetic uses, and research indicates it may also be effective in controlling schistosomiasis - a parasitic disease.

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