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THE ROLE OF IPR IN THE PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY

INTRODUCTION

We all are well aware of the current developments all over the world, whether technological, infrastructural, or various other developments in different sectors. But the need of the hour is that this race between individuals to achieve more and more may not affect the ecosystem in any way. Biodiversity refers to the variety of living creatures found over a certain species, habitat, or region. It’s also a criterion of ecological sustainability that incorporates biological variation inside and across life forms as well as inside the various habitats. Various Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) of patents and copyrights are being enforced to emphasize the commercialization of certain inventions or products. Being well-acquainted with various research and development tools nowadays countries are indulged in biogenetic assets. The impact of Intellectual Property Rights on the biodiversity of ecosystems is required to be closely studied. Genetic erosion is one of the most significant unseen repercussions, which manifests itself dramatically in the long term with the loss of biodiversity[1].

IMPACT OF IPR ON BIODIVERSITY

The societal and fiscal consequences and relevance of IP rights may be readily evident in emerging nations, with one of the most significant effects being intellectual rights. The copyright on varying kinds of seedlings confers supreme rights on the nations that produce them, as well as, to a certain measure, on the issue of long-term use. Because all laws and regulations around the world are focused on conservation, a methodology that combines the goal of economic encroachments of the Patent system with ecological legal norms might be terrible and reverse the advances made across some decades. The notion of economic plunder is opposed to the philosophy of environmental sustainability. As a result, claiming how copyright could enable indigenous expertise bearers to profit from the local beliefs is a narrow justification as because of this it must not extend to conventional information. Asserting Patents to claim how the utilization of indigenous experience and understanding can yield a positive result which owns the understanding is not the solution, both for the society and the ecosystem. The Intellectual regulation would simply offer statutory legitimacy to natural asset abuse, which would harm the ecosystem and the fine balancing act that the society sustains using education and experience. Even if it is critical that insight be openly accessible to all, it is also critical that the completely unaware exploitation of environmental assets be avoided in the interests of the group which is reliant on ancient policies and expertise. It is necessary to guarantee that habitat is preserved by ensuring that optimal utilization is maintained. Because society is reliant on the continuous usage of species and habitats, it is up to members to preserve a dynamic equilibrium. The use of the IP protection framework to enable economic plunder for the pleasure and convenience of everyone would damage, if not eradicate, ecosystems. An Intellectual property rights regime’s goal is to associate investment and creation objectives with commercial actualities. Equivalently, this only examines a firm’s marketplace efficiency and financial worth, as well as conventional wisdom. To put it mildly, putting monetary worth on anything based solely on how the industry interprets it is demeaning. The main point of indigenous cultures is whether it produces an atmosphere that encourages long progress; therefore, just calculating the financial worth is not relevant to the biodiversity of the ecosystem by obscuring it behind the conventional knowledge’s monetary worth.

INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATIONS

All legal tools, whether global or regional, are aimed at spreading information and benefiting the native people. The aims and the classification of the objectives are sufficient to aid in the protection of our ecosystem; yet, achieving all the objectives and making the required compromises to reach the prime objective of sustainability takes joint action. When it comes to the function of IPR in biodiversity conservation, there are a few key considerations that are as follows:

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources[2]
  • Traditional Knowledge and Folklore the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture[3]
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992 (CBD)
  • Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS)

The following are the three primary goals that the convention of CBD attempts to accomplish:

  • To protect biodiversity around the world.[4]
  • To preserve or at least encourage the long-term use of genetic variation to assure its survival for coming generations.[5]
  • To maintain a reasonable and balanced sharing of income derived from genetic and biological resources[6].

To comply with the TRIPs (Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights) and CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) India has passed Indian Patent (Second Amendment) Act, 2002 and the Biological Diversity Bill, 2002 respectively.[7] The Agreement of TRIPs stipulated that the procedure for patent of any product of medications and pharmaceuticals will be implemented eventually. Further, Article 16.5 and Article 22 of CBD along with TRIPS Articles 8, 27(2), 27(3) are also related to all this. There seems to be a pressing necessity to find suitable options within present frameworks to combat such risks, as well as to investigate potential regulations that promote environmental protection, stable usage, and fair incentive.

CONCLUSION

Biodiversity is a vital component of the ecology that is inextricably related to individual existence. When it comes to IPR, it is among the most important aspects that offer acknowledgement and privileges for advancement, and when it comes to species, almost all of the justifications and regulations are on the dark terminal. However, the existing regulations must be updated to provide adequate security for emerging developments in areas such as ecology. It is well acknowledged how utilizing environmental assets is extremely useful to humans. The adoption of every new legislation carries the difficulty of putting it into effect. And though, much furthermore intimidating is the mission to verify the smooth feasibility of the latest legislation with that of already existing provisions. Identifying good synergy among IPRs and biodiversity is a sophisticated and highly logistically complicated task. Despite this, significant improvement has been achieved in recent times. Yet, as evidenced by simply discussing one of the most critical topics in the debate including some of the most significant procedures in which this conversation goes on, reaching the CBD goals, significantly about cooperation, continues a target that is distant from being realized. The sole path here is for such a gradual strategy to have a harmonic formulation of both legislation such that the purposes of both laws can be realized simultaneously.

Author(s) Name: Abjot Kaur (Punjab School of Law, Punjabi University, Patiala)

References:

[1] Sabuj Kumar Chaudhuri ‘The Impact of IPR on Biodiversity’ (June 2003)  <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/28805051_The_impact_of_IPR_on_biodiversity> accessed on 24 April 2022

[2]B.Jayasuriyan ‘THE ROLE OF IPR IN PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY ON THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL’ (August2021) <https://www.google.com/amp/s/lasenatusscriptors.com/2021/08/31/the-role-of-ipr-in-protection-of-biodiversity-on-the-international-level/amp/> accessed on 24 April 2022

[3] Supra note 2

[4] The Convention on Biological Diversity <https://www.cbd.int/convention/> accessed on 24 April 2022

[5] Supra note 4

[6] Supra note 4

[7] Supra note 1(Legislations)