By Rachel Chase

Peru’s efforts to preserve valuable biodiversity have been so successful they’re now advising other countries on the issue.


Andrés Valladolid of Peru’s National Biopiracy Commission, told press that “We have a law that establishes a regimen of protection for the collective knowledge held by indigenous peoples in relation to biological resources. This law is unique, and it’s considered all over the world as an example.”

According to NordGen, an organization dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity, genetic resources are,” living material that includes genes of present and potential value for humans. Plant genetic resources includes all our agricultural crops and even some of their wild relatives because they too often have valuable traits.”

Perú is now advising Ecuador as they look to improve protection for their own genetic resources. “We’re supporting Ecuador as they implement a system like ours.

[Ecuador] is very advanced, while Bolivia and Colombia are just beginning to get organized,” explained Valladolid.

The National Biopiracy Commission is part of Peru’s national intellectual property authority,INDECOPI. While the term “biopiracy” might sound a like something out of a science fiction novel, it’s a very real— and very important— legal concept.

Biopiracy laws seek to protect a country’s natural resources from being patented by foreign companies, who can then profit from their “discovery.” For example, Andina writes, bioproducts like camu camu, sacha inchi, and maca have been used by indigenous communities for their beneficial health effects for centuries. However, that hasn’t stopped companies from attempting to patent these products.

“In the case of maca, a company patented its extract in 2002,” said Valladolid, “And from that, they developed a line of products that reported [earnings of] US$200,000 monthly. In one year, that’s US$2.4 million, and in ten years, more than US$20 million, which was not given to Peru.”

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By | 2018-06-25T16:41:52-05:00 February 28th, 2014|n_ingles, Noticias|0 Comments

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