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Title: Biodiversity and IPR- Ethics and Politics
Authors: Ghosh, Syamal Krishna
Issue Date: Jul-2000
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract: Indian subcontinent, one of the 12-mega biodiversity centres in the world, is bestowed with varied agro-climate that has consequently given rise to great diversity in agri-horticultural crops, ethno-botanically important species. It has expertised itself in evolving new crop varieties. The plant genetic resources of Indian subcontinent played a major role in experiencing green revolution through increased agricultural productivity of the food crops as well as 70 per cent of the population depends on the herbal and Ayurvedic medicine. The human beings, science and technology and ever-changing economic & political scenario are exploiting the spectrum of biodiversity without any effort for its sustenance.
Since 1946, International agencies have been involved in the conselvation of genetic resources, which has resulted the Convention on Biological Diversity in June 1992 during Rio de Janeiro Earth summit with the objective to prevent unfair exploitation of bio-wealth and traditional knowledge of developing nations. The global concern has drifted biodiversity into commercial era, which is leading further concerns for access, trade- related disputes and conventions. The situation became much stiffer with the introduction of General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) agreement and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). India being a signatory of GATT is compelled to develop both product and process patent system for innovations in the field of food, health and environment management. The IPR regime and rapid commercialization of agriculture with the advent of biotechnology is also leading to biopiracy and bio-colonialism of the bio-resources.
On the other hand, the recent tools of biotechnology such as transgenic and T-GURT technologies offer both challenges and opportunities for growth and development of mankind. These technologies may have potential negative effect on biodiversity and most of the concerns regarding the possible effect are theoretical in nature except very few studies, which are addressing the potential risk. These new technologies need critical review on the Indian context as well as on the global ecological concern for exploitation. The fact is that India must avoid taking extreme decisions regarding biodiversity and concerted effort is needed for the protection of the sovereign right of our country over the biological resources and converting them to economic wealth. So our national effort is obvious to accept the IPR framework to safeguard biological resources and to promote traditional knowledge of these biodiversity through multidisciplinary approach to make ‘‘Green Revolution’’ an ‘‘Evergreen Revolution’’.
Page(s): 197-205
ISSN: 0975-1076 (Online); 0971-7544 (Print)
Appears in Collections:JIPR Vol.05(4) [July 2000]

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