Megadiverse Countries Set Up Working Group on Benefit-Sharing
State Ministers and high-ranking representatives from the Group of Like-minded Megadiverse Countries at their meeting on 29 November in Cusco, Peru, agreed to establish an ad-hoc working group to develop a proposal for submission to the next meeting of the Group in Malaysia (2003) containing mechanisms to guarantee the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge. These mechanisms should take into account, inter alia, the need to provide proof of prior informed consent of the country of origin of the genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge when submitting a patent application. This work is aimed at developing joint proposals by the Group in international forums, including the WTO, WIPO and the negations of an international regime on benefit-sharing as called for the in the Plan of Implementation adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
The Group of Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries is a consultation and cooperation mechanism that aims to promote the countries’ common interests and priorities related to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It includes Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, South African and Venezuela.