Impact of IP regime on diminishing agro-biodiversity: Finding solutions to conserve genetic variations

It is often said that biodiversity and biotechnology cannot coexist. Conservation of biodiversity is the basic endeavor for adopting sustainable development. IP regime enshrines the market oriented approach of protection of industrially developed countries. The conflict between the two is thus inherent, on the one hand are potential international conventions like GATTS/WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, on the other hand, there are feeble biodiversity protection acts, acting at local level. It shall not be wrong to say that the world has split into two hemispheres depending upon the financial stability and R&D, (popularly referred to as the global north) and on genetically and traditionally rich biological resources (or the global south). It is however disconcerting that the exploitation of biological resources have found opposition only on the economic grounds by global south, with special emphasis on profit sharing and prior informed consent. Only recently, the potent deterioration to biodiversity due to monoculturism, improved crop varieties and genetically improved organisms induced by IP regime has caught attention of the developing countries, i.e. the global south, when significant harm has already been done. This paper seeks to analyze this conflict between agricultural biodiversity and biotechnology and propose solutions towards sustainable development and hence steps to enable both biodiversity and biotechnology coexist harmoniously.
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