Planta Med 2010; 76 - S_1
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1264235

Impact of the convention on biodiversity on bioprospecting in phytomedicine

L Phillips 1
  • 1Denzil Phillips International, 25 Stanmore Gardens, Richmond, United Kingdom

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) provides the legal framework for biodiversity conservation worldwide. The CBD has three main objectives: (1) the conservation of biodiversity; (2) the sustainable use of biodiversity; (3) the sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources Despite being in force more than 17 years the number of successful access and benefit sharing schemes (ABS) based on CBD principles are limited. Based on a review of 22 studies of ABS globally we analysed positive and negative impacts of the CBD on the global phyto-medicines industry and common problems facing implementation? Just what is the resource in question? A plant, an idea, a DNA fingerprint – plant science and genetic engineering has rapidly progressed since 1993 when the CBD was drafted. Who really owns what? In cultures where communal ownership, traditional knowledge and oral history predominate and where national boundaries have limited meaning is westernjurisprudence appropriate to answer this question? Prior Informed Consent. Who represents „the people“ in such negotiations? The proliferation of organisations claiming to „represent“ owners of bioresources makes it sometimes difficult to identify who is consenting to what. Equitable benefit sharing arrangements. There are no international norms concerning how big, in what form and how long CBD benefit sharing arrangements should exist. Who is the arbitrator of fairness in this arena? Growth or equity? ABS negotiations often spend too much time debating potential profit sharing arrangements instead of ensuring that projects succeed and prosper; yet success rates in bioprospecting projects is low.

References: 1. Denzil Phillips International (Editor), Plants, People and Nature (2009) AAMPS Publishing, Mauritius.