In other words, biological materials such as genes, plants, animals, and humans are being hijacked by companies against the will of the domestic country (usually Third World) and patented. Even though they have been identified long time ago by the farmers and indigenous peoples of that area.
i.e. In South Africa the Government distributed cheap medication to 4 million HIV positive people, and now it is being sued for not paying the royalties
This means they are 100% guaranteed to make large profit from the products they make, and the royalties from this bio material.
Corporate biopiracy venture is increasingly undertaken in collaboration with intermediary institutes like universities, governments and non-government organizations, which are able to contribute expert yet relatively low-cost field research and input and are generally better placed to gain access to biodiversity "hot spots.“In exchange for their involvement, intermediary partners often receive project funding, scholarships or technological hardware; but, corporate partners inevitably retain the vast share of royalties relating to the sale of any marketable products.
Biopiracy and its effect on Biodiversity
BIOPIRACY ANDITS EFFECTS ON BIODIVERSITY<br />
BioDiversity<br />Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. <br />The UN declared the year 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity.<br />
Biodiverstiy Concentration<br />Approximately 90% of the world's remaining biodiversity is concentrated in tropical and sub-tropical regions within developing countries, especially in key centers of mega-diversity:<br />Mexico<br />Brazil<br />India<br />Indonesia<br />Australia <br />The Democratic Republic of Congo. <br />
BioProspecting<br />It is the search for biological resources and associated indigenous knowledge - mainly for the purpose of commercial exploitation but in compliance with the Convention on Biodiversity.<br /><ul><li>Many years ago, scientists did not need any approval from anyone to collect samples. Now it all changed.</li></ul>While bioprospecting does not negatively affect the interests of indigenous peoples or is a threat to biodiversity, it facilitates biopiracy. <br />
BioPiracy<br />Biopiracy refers to the collection, study and commercialization of biological and genetic resources without the free and prior informed consent of source communities and countries, and the application of intellectual property rights (IPR) on these resources.<br />
Why PATENTS are BAD?<br />Patents on life forms threaten community access to three of the most critical elements of human survival: <br />food <br />water <br />health care.<br />
Why companies choose Biopiracy instead of Bioprospecting? <br />Due to the competition in the pharmaceutical and agricultural area, big companies do not have time to collect samples legally, so they engage in biopiracy in order to be the first to patent biological material.<br />
“Gene Rush” instead of “Gold Rush”<br />Companies realize that genes of living organisms are the basic 'raw materials' of the new biotechnologies. <br />The 'Gene Rush' has thus become a new version of the old 'Gold Rush', in the rush for future profits.<br />
Biopiracy methods<br />Illegal collection of Bio Samples in the biodiversity “hot spots”. <br />Collaboration with universities, governments and non-government organizations, which are able to contribute relatively low-cost field research and input.<br />In exchange for their involvement, those organizations receive:<br />project funding <br />Scholarships<br />technological hardware.<br />
Biopiracy and illegal patenting Examples:<br />W R Grace Company patented the pesticide extract from the neem tree <br />(sample taken from India).<br />German Pharmaceutical company patented illegally manzana variety of the chamomile (sample taken from Mexico). <br />
BioPiracy effects on Biodiversity<br />Biopiracy alters the environment, which in turn causes Biodiversity depletion<br />
Example:<br />Asia:<br />Used to be more than 100,000 varieties of rice in the 20th century. <br />Now, less than a dozen are planted in 70 % of land being cultivated for rice. <br />India:<br />Used to be 30,000 <br />Now only 10 varieties are grown in 75 %. <br />Sri Lanka:<br />Used to be more than 2,000<br />Now, only 5 varieties. <br />Philippines:<br />Used to be 3,500 varieties of rice <br />Now only 8varieties are grown in more than 75 % of ricelands today.<br />
Biodiversity Depletion EffectsFood security:<br />The availability of biodiversity is often a "safety net" that increases food security. <br />
Vulnerability:<br />Many communities have experienced more natural disasters over the past several decades. <br />Coral Reefs<br />Mangroves<br />
Health:<br /><ul><li>A balanced diet depends on the availability of a wide variety of foods and nutrition, which in turn depends on the conservation of biodiversity.
Greater wildlife diversity may decrease the spread of many wildlife pathogens to humans. </li></li></ul><li>Clean water<br /><ul><li>The continued loss of forests and the destruction of watersheds reduce the quality and availability of water supplied to household use and agriculture. </li></li></ul><li>Social relations<br /><ul><li>Many cultures attach spiritual, aesthetic, recreational, and religious values to ecosystems or their components.
The loss or damage to these components can harm social relations, both by reducing the bonding value of shared experience.</li></li></ul><li>Freedom of choice<br /><ul><li>Loss of biodiversity, which is sometimes irreversible, often means a loss of choices. </li></li></ul><li>Basic materials<br /><ul><li>Biodiversity provides various goods - such as plants and animals - that individuals need in order to earn an income and secure sustainable livelihoods.
In addition to agriculture, biodiversity contributes to a range of other sectors, including