International News II: BIO Deutschland Campaigns in Copenhagen for the Protection of Intellectual Property

At the end of November, BIO Deutschland contacted the member delegation that will represent Germany at the UN climate summit from 7 - 18 December in Copenhagen in order to spell out the contribution made by biotechnology to improving the global climate. The delegates were given a document that had been produced over the past months by an international coalition of biotechnology lobby groups, including BIO Deutschland.

In the document, the authors emphasised that the biotech sector will strongly support the efforts by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to produce a global treaty on reducing the impact of climate change and on adapting to an environment that has already changed. However, they also pointed out that the sector was concerned that the wording of the treaty as regards long-term cooperation might possibly represent a negative incentive to the implementation of the benefits of biotechnology. They pointed out that the text on long-term cooperation to be debated in Copenhagen hinted several times at a reduction or a complete abolition of protection of intellectual property. If this clause came into force, then the efforts to develop and apply supporting technologies to reduce the impact of climate change would be significantly restricted.

The document also emphasised that the biotech sector can only provide the instruments required for the achievement of the aims of the UNFCCC treaty signatories if awareness of the benefits of biotechnology increases. Only when innovations are secured and acknowledged by strong parameters that protect intellectual property, will security of planning for investments and the marketing and distribution of new technologies exist.

The following organisations signed the document: AfricaBio, Agro-Bio (Columbia), All India Biotech Association, All India Crop Biotechnology Association, ASEBIO (Spain), AusBiotech (Australia), BioIndustry Association (Great Britain), BioSingapore, BIOTECanada, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO-USA), Black Sea Biotechnology Association, CropLife Canada, CropLife International, EuropaBio, dib, Hungarian Biotechnology Association, Nederlandse Biotechnologie Associatie, NZBIO (New Zealand), Swiss Biotech Association und SwedenBIO.

BIO Deutschland members may request a copy of the letter to the delegates from our office (tel: +49-30-345 0593-30).

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