NGOs support a treaty to establish the gene pool as a global commons. (Biodevastation).
Biotech activists from more than 50 nations announced their support for a treaty which would establish the earth's gene pool as a global commons Global commons is that which no one person or state may own or control and which is central to life. A Global Common contains an infinite potential with regard to the understanding and advancement of the biology and society of all life. e.g. . Non-Governmental Organizations' (NGOs) leaders say they will challenge government and corporate claims on patents on life in every country. The treaty is the first globally coordinated campaign among biotech activists, and already has the support of over 250 organizations.
The Treaty Initiative was announced simultaneously in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of at the United Nations preparatory meetings for the Rio+10 meeting, and in Porto Alegre Porto Alegre
Port and city(pop., 2005 est.: city, 1,386,900; metro. area, 3,978,263), southern Brazil. Located along the Guaíba River near the Atlantic Ocean coast, it was founded c. 1742 by immigrants from the Azores. It was first known as Porto dos Casais. . Brazil at the World Social Forum.
Activists will be working with political parties to introduce the Treaty Initiative in parliaments around the world over the next year. In September 2002, activists will demand that governmental delegates to the Rio+1O Conference in South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. endorse the Treaty to Share the Genetic Commons and make it the centerpiece of future biodiversity efforts.
Jeremy Rifkin Jeremy Rifkin (born 1943, Denver, Colorado), the founder and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends (FOET), is an American economist, writer, and public speaker. He is an activist who seeks to shape public policy in the United States and globally. , President of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, DC, says, "The gene pool should not be allowed to be claimed as commercially negotiable genetic information or intellectual property by governments, commercial enterprises, other institutions or individuals. The global gene pool is a shared legacy and, therefore, a collective responsibility." Mr Rifkin added, "A global treaty to share the gene pool is the most important task ahead of us as we make the transition into the Age of Biology."
The Treaty Initiative to Share the Genetic Commons aims to prohibit all patents on plant, microorganism microorganism /mi·cro·or·gan·ism/ (-or´gah-nizm) a microscopic organism; those of medical interest include bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. , animal, and human life. "Currently, under the protection of the WTO See World Trade Organization. , multinational corporations
"Biodiversity has been the base of agriculture and food security for 10,000 years," says Elizabeth Brazo, of Accion Eco Log Ica (Ecuador). "The use of intellectual property rights has prevented this generation of new biodiversity. In fact, we are losing genetic diversity every day."
"The exploitation of genetic material that permits human life would change forever the potential of mankind," said Bill Christison, President of the National Family Farm Coalition which is the US member of Via Campesina Via Campesina (from Spanish la vía campesina, the campesino way) describes itself as "an international movement which coordinates peasant organizations of small and middle-scale producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, Africa, . "A major theme supported by farmers and peasants in Via Campesina is that the world is not for sale and certainly this includes the gene pools of the people of the world."
Eighteen organizations, including the Foundation on Economic Trends, the International Forum on Globalization globalization
Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation , and the National Family Farm Coalition in the US, Centro de Educacion y Tecnologia in Chile, Comitato Scientifico Antivivisezionista in Italy, the Indigenous Peoples' Biodiversity Network in Peru, Southeast Asia Regional Institute for Community Education (SEARICE) in the Philippines, the Community Technology Development Trust in Zimbabwe, and Via Campesina have formed an international committee working to create a civil society process which would lead to the presentation of the Treaty to governments at the Rio+10 Conference in South Africa in the fall.
"This treaty is designed to ensure that governments and Indigenous Peoples are the caretakers of their part of the genetic commons and to establish the appropriate statutory mechanisms needed to ensure both sovereignty and open access to the worlds genetic diversity," says Hope Shand of ETC Group (formerly RAFI).
To read the Treaty, go to www.tradeobservatory.org