brazil - UNCTAD Expert Meeting on Systems and National...

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1 UNCTAD Expert Meeting on Systems and National Experiences for Protecting Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices Geneva 30 October – 1 November 2000 Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge in Brazil Prepared by Antonio C. Guedes and Maria José Sampaio Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation (Embrapa) Brazil Disclaimer: This document is being distributed in the form in which it was received. The views are solely those of the author.
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2 Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge in Brazil Antonio Carlos Guedes 1 and Maria José Amstalden Sampaio 2 Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation (Embrapa 3 ) 1. Legislation Development Brazil holds one of the World’s biggest concentrations of biodiversity and since 1933 has enacted many decrees and regulations on the access to its biological diversity. However, attention to the related Traditional Knowledge (TK), at least under legal terms, was strengthened only after Brazil became a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As much as in the rest of the World, where many efforts are taking place to discuss the subject, Brazilian legislators are also trying to set up an initial model legislation though nothing very much has yet gone from paper to practice, because access to TK, its protection, use and consequently the sharing of benefits is a very complicated matter. The first proposal for a Law submitted to Congress dates from 1995 (Senate proposal no. 306, by Senator Marina Silva). It was followed by proposal no. 4579 by Congressman Jaques Wagner in 1998 and slightly later by proposal no. 4751 submitted by Government. Meanwhile, some individual States began to propose and approve their own texts to regulate the access to genetic resources within their jurisdiction (e.g. State of Acre no. 1235/1997, State of Amapa no. 0388/1997 and State of S.Paulo law proposal, giving different levels of protection to TK). In the regulations of the Amapa Law one can find many of the elements being discussed by Congress. In the Project introduced by Congressman J. Wagner there is a proposal for the creation of a national catalog where members of indigenous and local communities or any other person should deposit documents related to TK. This would allow for better informed decisions on how to access and use TK when dealing with contracts and further developments and should help to guarantee an equitable sharing of benefits. It also proposes that indigenous and local communities hold exclusive rights on any TK associated to genetic resources. In its article 47, the text proposes that no intellectual property rights be approved for inventions which products and processes relate to TK or genetic resources not accessed in conformity with the proposed law. In June 2000, while discussions were taking place in Congress,
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brazil - UNCTAD Expert Meeting on Systems and National...

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