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Biodiversity Wealth and Opportunities for Asia Pacific Countries in Biotechnology & Herbal Technology

Dr. P.Pushpangadan
Director National Botanical Research Institute (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research) Lucknow (India)

September 2003

Biodiversity
Biological diversity is the central tenet of nature, one of its key defining features. Evolution has produced an amazing variety of plants, animals and micro-organisms, intricately interconnected, and worthy of respect and conservation in their own right. Biodiversity is also the basis for the continuous evolution of species. This diversity is also the backbone of human societies and cultures, in terms of the ecological functions it provides and the myriad survival and livelihood it meets.

Biodiversity
According to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), biodiversity is the variability among all living organisms from all sources, including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

Economic Values of Biodiversity


Direct
Consumptive
 Food, Fodder

Indirect
        

Fuel,Fiber,Medicine  Natural compounds  Genes,etc.




Non Consumptive


Tourism, Wildlife watching, etc.

Climate regulation Soil management Waste disposal Nutrient cycling Hydrological regime Species interactions Eco-tourism Recreation Research

Genesis of the Global Concern on Biodiversity Conservation


First discussed in 1972 U. N. Conference at Stockholm U. N. General Assembly by a resolution on 15th December 1972 established UNEP. . First Governing Council met in 1973 identified Conservation of Nature, Wildlife and Genetic Resources as Priority areas. The World Commission on environment and Development (WCED) was constituted in 1983. WCED submitted its report Our Common Future in 1987 called for Conservation of Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.

Genesis of the Global Concern on Biodiversity Conservation


UNEP constituted an ad-hoc Working Group of Technological and Legal experts to prepare an international legal instrument for conservation and sustainable use of Biodiversity which resulted in CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (CBD). 171 countries signed CBD in June 1992 during the Earth summit at Rio de Janeiro. CBD came - into force as an International Law on 29th Dec. 1993. 186 countries are now parties to CBD (as on Feb. 2003)

Conservation of Biodiversity
Strategies & Priorities
IUCN, UNEP & WWF 1980 came out with the first Global Strategy for Conservation. This Strategy defined conservation as: Management of human use of biodiversity so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to present generation while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generation This definition involves two complementary components Conservation and sustainability

WORLD TRADE AND ECONOMIES: THE PARADIGM SHIFT


 Resource based economies to Knowledge based economies
 21

Century will be the Century of Knowledge A nation s ability to convert knowledge in to wealth and social good through the process of innovation will determine its future ( R A Mashelkar, 2001)

st

Convention of Biodiversity (CBD)


Relevant Provisions of CBD Article 3 recognizes the sovereign rights of States over their biological resources. Article 15 states that when access to genetic resources is granted, it shall be on mutually agreed upon terms and subject to Prior Informed Consent. Incentives to biodiversity-rich countries to conserve and sustainably use their genetic resources, including joint research, access to & transfer of technology (Articles 15,16).

Relevant Provisions of CBD


(Contd...)
Article 16.2 addresses issues surrounding the access to and transfer of technology, governed by patents. Article 16.5 anticipates the difference in objectives between IPR regimes and the CBD and seeks to ensure that IPRs don't run counter to the CBD. Article 8(j) underlines the need to protect TK and points to the potential benefits to be realized from such knowledge through involvement of its holders and equitable benefit-sharing.

Relevant Provisions of TRIPs on Biological Resources


Under Article 27, virtually all inventions are to be patented if they are new, involve an innovative/inventive step and are capable of industrial application. Exceptions to patentability include plants, animals ( other than microbes) and biological processes for the production of the above. However plant varieties must be protected either by sui generis or by patenting (27.3(b)).

Relevant Provisions of TRIPs on Biological Resources


(Contd.)
Article 30 confers limited exceptions to the rights conferred on patent holders, taking into account the legitimate interests of third parties. Article 29 imposes two conditions on patent applicants; that they disclose the invention clearly and completely enough for a person skilled in the art to reproduce it and it 'may' require an applicant to provide information concerning the applicant's corresponding foreign applications and grants.

TRIPS-CBD Relationship
Absence of explicit compatibility, Difference of approach and priority given to issues which are ultimately related. This has led to violation of the CBD (Articles 8,15 &16). TRIPs ignores a vast range of valuable, traditional knowledge (TK) because it doesn't meet the standards of patentability.

TRIPS-CBD Relationship
(Contd..)
TRIPs undermines CBD in cases of biopiracy, by putting the burden of proof on the source country rather than patentee. Identification of unique source material as required in Art.29 of TRIPs is insufficient. Lack of transparency in the patent application procedure. TRIPs doesn't require the recognition of domestic laws protecting access to genetic resources and TK and subsequent benefit sharing.

The Need to Amend the TRIPs Agreement


Absence of a clear reference to CBD and the relationship with CBD could hinder the implementation of the latter by violating the primary principle of sovereignty over genetic resources. TRIPs should provide international recognition of relevant domestic legislation of its member countries, especially as far as access and benefit sharing issues are concerned.

The Need to Amend the TRIPs Agreement (Contd...)


It is far more cost effective in the long run to establish an internationally accepted solution through TRIPs for the prevention of biopiracy. TK associated patents have fetched large profits and it makes ethical and economic sense for TRIPs Agreement to recognize a need for benefit sharing.

Major Concerns for AsiaPacific Countries


Prevention of misappropriation bio-piracy &

Development of international systems of protection of TK. Means for fair & equitable benefit sharing and technology transfer.

Strength of Asia-Pacific countries in Biodiversity


Rich in all levels of biodiversity species, genes, habitat. Rich in cultural diversity that generated rich fund of indigenous knowledge systems. Humanity has tapped only a fraction of this nature's vast genetic library. Over 80-85% genetic resources of South Asian countries are hitherto untapped. Excellent opportunity for hunting novel genes, drugs, pharmaceuticals, new chemicals / raw materials for new industrial ventures.

Mega diversity Countries: Plant Diversity and Endemism


Country Brazil Indonesia Colombia Mexico Australia Madagascar China Philippines India Peru Papua New Guinea Ecuador USA Venezuela Malaysia South Africa Dem. Rep. Congo/Zaire Total Area (km2) 8,511,965 1,916,600 1,141,748 1,972,544 7,686,810 587,045 9,561,000 300,780 3,287,782 1,285,210 475,369 283,561 9,372,143 912,050 329,749 1,221,037 2,344,000 51,189,393 Total species ~50,000-56,000 ~37,000 45,000-51,000 18,000-30,000 15,638 11,000-12,000 27,100-30,000 8,000-12,000 >17,000 18,000-20,000 15,000-21,000 17,600-21,100 18,956 15,000-21,070 15,000 23,420 11,000 Endemics 16,500-18,500 14,800-18,500 15,000-17,000 10,000-15,000 14,458 8,800-9,600 ~10,000 3,800-6,000 5,356 4,000-5,000 10,500-16,000 4,000-5,000 4,036 5,000-8,000 6,500-8,000 16,500 3,200 155,475-183,025
Source: Myers 2001

Biodiversity Hotspots of Asia-Pacific region


Hotspots Original extent (km2) Remaining primary vegetation (km2)(% of original extent) 110,000(4.7) Area protected (km2)(% of hotspot) Plant
species

Endemic plants (% of
global plants total. 300,000)

Endemic
Vertebrate

species

vertebrates (% of global vertebrates total 27,298)

Mediterranean

Basin

2,362,000

42,123(38.3

25000

13,000(4.3%)

770

235(0.9%)

Sundaland

1,60,000

125,000(7.8)

90,000(72.0)

25,000

15,000(5.0%)

1800

701(2.6%)

Wallacea

347,000

52,020(15.0)

20,415(39.2)

10,000

1500(0.5%)

1142

529(1.9%)

Philippines

300,800

9023(3.0)

3910(43.3)

7620

5832(1.9%)

1093

518(1.9%)

Contd

Biodiversity Hotspots of Asia-Pacific region (Contd.)


Hotspots Original extent (km2) Remaining primary vegetation (km2)(% of
original extent)

Area protected (km2)(% of


hotspot)

Plant species

Endemic plants (% of
global plants total. 300,000)

Vertebrate species

Endemic vertebrates
(% of global vertebrates total 27,298)

Indo-Burma SouthCentral China Western Ghats/ Sri Lanka SW Australia New Caledonia New Zealand Polynesia/ Micronesia

2,060,000

10,000(4.9)

100,000(100.0)

13,500

7000(2.3%)

2185

528(1.9%)

800,000

64,000(8.0)

16,562(25.9)

12,000

3500(1.2%)

1141

178(0.7%)

182,500

12,450(6.8)

12,450(100.0)

4780

2180(0.7%)

1073

355(1.3%)

309,850

33,336(10.8)

33,336(100.0)

5469

4331(1.4%)

456

100(0.4%)

18,600

5200(28.0)

526.7(10.1)

3322

2551(0.9%)

190

84(0.3%)

270,500

59,400(22.0)

52,068(87.7)

2300

1865(0.6%)

217

136(0.5%)

46,000

10,024(21.8)

4913(49.0)

6557

3334(1.1%)

342

223(0.8%)

TOTAL

11,558

60,093(20%)

Source: Myers 2001

The Eight Hottest Spots in Terms of Five Factors


(Number in parenthesis indicate the ranking in the top 10 hotspots for each factor)
Hotspot Endemic plants Endemic vertebrates Endemic plants/area ratio (species
per 100 km2)

Endemic vertebrates/ area ratio


(species per 100 km2)

Remaining primary vegetation as % of original extent

Time appearing in top 10 for each of five factors

Madagascar

9704(4) 5832(8)

771(4) 518(9)

16.4(8) 64.7(2)

1.3(7) 5.7(2)

9.9(9) 3.0(1)

5 5

*Phillippines

*Sundaland Caribbean Brazils Atlantic Forest Eastern Arc and Coastal Forests of Kenya/Tanz ania *IndoBurma *Western Ghats/ Sri Lanka

15,000(2) 7000(6) 8000(5)

701(5) 779(3) 567(6)

12.0(10) 23.5(6) 8.7

0.6(10) 2.6(4) 0.6(10)

7.8(7) 11.3 7.5(6)

5 4 4

1500

121

75.0(1)

6.1(1)

6.7(4)

7000(6)

528(8)

7.0

0.5

4.9(3)

2180

355

17.5(7)

2.9(3)

6.8(5)

* Asia-Pacific countries

Estimated Population of the Worlds indigenous peoples


Region North America Latin America and the Caribbean Former Soviet Union *China and Japan *The Pacific *South east Asia *South Asia *Australia and New Zealand Africa TOTAL Number of cultural groups 250 800 135 100 1273 900 700 250 2010 6418 Population 3,500,000 43,000,000 40,000,000 67,000,000 2,000,000 30,000,000 100,000,000 550,000 50,000,000 336,050,000

Sources: Burger (1987), Hitchcock (1994)

Developing Countries' Experience


Biopiracy leading to expensive, time consuming law suits: case of Ayahuasca in Brazil, neem and turmeric in India Domestic & regional legislation developed to protect genetic resources and associated TK but lack of enforcement at the international level: India's Biodiversity Act, Costa Rican Biodiversity Law, Philippines EO247, Brazilian Bill of Access to Genetic Resources, Andean Community's Common System on Access to Genetic Resources, AU Draft legislation on Community Rights & Access to Biological Resources. TBGRI/Pushpangadans Model of benefit sharing.

Biodiversity & TK: Capital Assets of Asia-Pacific Countries


Biodiversity and TK are two invaluable capital assets of South countries for:  Building up IPR- covered bio-industrial enterprises Herbal Drugs Pharmaceuticals Natural product development sectors  Generating economic wealth and improving quality of life and well- being of people

Contd

Biodiversity & TK: Capital Assets of Asia-Pacific Countries (Contd.)


 Building up S&T capability in advanced technologies of bioprospecting  Human resource development in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Bioprospecting  Empowering local and indigenous communities for conservation, sustainable use and building up location specific biodiversity enterprises through S&T intervention

Biodiversity & TK: Bridging the North-South Gap


Asia-Pacific countries SHOULD:
 Develop capability in biotechnology, bioinformatics and bioprospecting through national, regional and global biopartnership programmes  Address and resolve the issues of access to and transfer of genetic resources and technologies between North- South countries Contd ..

Biodiversity & TK: Bridging the North- South Gap Asia-Pacific Countries should:
 Prevent bio-piracy and misappropriation of genetic resources and TK  Develop an international system for protection of TK  Develop effective mechanisms for fair and equitable benefit sharing and technology transfers

Biodiversity-based sustainable Development: Strategies for AsiaPacific Countries


 Generating new knowledge and Converting it in to useful products, production processes, technologies through S&T intervention  Transfer of such production technologies and services to industry and commerce  Protection of IPR  Equitable benefit sharing among all stakeholders  Empowerment of people

BIOPARTNERSHIP: RELEVANCE OF APCTT


APCTT can bring the Asia-Pacific Countries should come together to develop Strategies for:
Easy and regulated access to genetic resources & TK and biotechnologies Exchange of information pertaining to conservation and sustainable use of biogenetic resources and associated TK
 Mutually Agreed Terms  Prior Informed Consent  Equitable Benefit Sharing Agreement

BIOPARTNERSHIP: RELEVANCE OF APCTT


APCTT can help Asia Pacific Countries:
Build up S&T Capabilities Capitalize biodiversity and TK for bioindustrial development Insulate from Biopiracy Ensure national sovereign rights over biodiversity and TK Empower local and indigenous communities, including women Build up location specific biodiversity enterprises using local bio-resources and TK through S&T applications

BIOPARTNERSHIP: RELEVANCE OF APCTT


APCTT can help in Capacity building and Training for Asia-Pacific countries

AREAS: Biodiversity & TK Biotechnology Bioinformatics Bioprospecting

APCTT can help in in Capacity Building and Training for Asia-Pacific countries

STRATEGIES: 1. Development of Transparent Policies and


Mechanisms to ensure: Access to and transfer of genetic resources and technologies among participating countries Evolving equitable benefit sharing models based on sustainable use and S & T based value addition to bioresources and associated TK Contd...

STRATEGIES (Contd.):
2. Promotion of multi-country collaborative R&D projects on various facets of Bioprospecting, particularly herbal drug and pharmaceutical prospecting and other natural product development sectors 3. Generation of IPR- covered products, processes, technologies and services, and thereby converting the bio-resources and associated TK in to economic wealth of the country and its people.

Action Programme
Important points that the biodiversity rich third world nations should undertake:
Complete inventory & documentation of all Biological resources including the microorganisms Check list/database of the floristic wealth of the nation along with the associated knowledge system Ground check to know the actual situation and identify the gaps: Study - genetic diversity, distribution pattern, association pattern and gradients Identify- rare, endemic and endangered status of spp. , if any.

Action Programme
Prepare -passport data of all important and endemic biodiversity. Passport data should cover morphological, cytological, chemical and molecular level (DNA/gene level) information so as to prevent bio/gene piracy. Identification of problems and solutions in conservation, threatened status of species, ecosystems -with causes of threats. Identification of problems and solutions in conservation.

BIOPROSPECTING
Chemical prospecting
Drug and pharmaceuticals Pesticides Cosmetics Food additives Other industrially valuable Chemical products

Gene prospecting Genetic Engineering Crop development Fermentation Cell culture

Bionic prospecting Designs Sensor technologies Architecture Bioengineering Bio-modeling

BIOPROSPECTING : LINKAGES AND LEADS

Biodiversity & IK / TK

Biotechnology Information Technology Herbal Technology

Bioprospecting
Drug development Pharmaceuticals Nutraceuticals Agro-chemistry Cosmetics/ cosmaceuticals Proteins Enzymes New crop varieties GMOs GM foods Designs, etc.

Conservation

Sustainable use

Benefit sharing

Bioinformatics

IPR

Bioprospecting and the new IPR regime


Given the global trends in capturing the intellectual property markets, the Third World nations in the Asia pacific now needs to look ahead for the best possible ways and means by which they can generate IPR and build up IPR covered bioindustrial regimes. Biotechnology (BT), Information Technology (IT) and Herbal Technology (HT) are the three fast emerging and powerful areas of R&D in current century. The rich biodiversity, associated knowledge systems and human resources etc. are the strength of Asia-pacific countries, and therefore have the best opportunity.

IPR Issues / Benefit Sharing Strategies


 Appropriate Procedures for IPR Protection/Benefit sharing  Documentation & Registration of TK Medicinal plant use & Conservation at local , state and national level.  Contribution to TKDL & TKRC  Value addition to TK & Indigenous Medicinal Plants Scaling up IPRs  Herbal drugs, Pharmaceuticals, Natural products & byproducts, Nutraceuticals, Functional foods, etc.