IP watch: UNCTAD: IPRs In Health, Research, Cosmetics, Meet Access & Benefit Sharing
The interactions between intellectual property and international rules of global access and benefit sharing were explored recently as an expert group meeting was convened by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to explore several areas where those interactions occur.
The Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on the Development Dimensions of Intellectual Property: Biological Diversity and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), was convened by UNCTAD on 16-17 April. Several panels shed light on IP and ABS in particular areas, such as natural ingredients used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and pandemic influenza preparedness.
Maria Julia Oliva, senior advisor on ABS for the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), said the UEBT manages an internationally recognised standard: the Ethical BioTrade Standard, under which companies commit to ethical sourcing practices.
Benefit sharing is a critical part of sustainable work with biodiversity, she said, in particular because it empowers producers and their communities, allows long-term partnerships, offers recognition of rights over resources and knowledge, and promotes sustainable development at the local level.