The importance of tropical rain forests as sources of medicinal plants used in traditional health systems and of raw material required for modern drug development is briefly discussed. The need for the conservation and sustainable use of these natural resources is emphasised.
In 1996, the ratification of a bilateral IPR agreement between Ecuador and the USA was blocked by an Ecuadorian environmental NGO. The agreement is part of the US strategy to unilaterally push developing countries to broaden the scope of industrial patent law, even beyond the scope that was agreed in GATT. The bilateral agreement could limit national implementation of the CBD.
van Wijk, J., J. I. Cohen, et al. (1993). Intellectual Property Rights for Agricultural Biotechnology: Options and Implications for Developing Countries. The Hague, International Service for National Agricultural Research.
Analysis of the complexities, options and implications regarding IPRs in relation to national biotechnology strategies.
van Wijk, J. (1995). “Plant Breeders’ Rights Create Winners and Losers.” Biotechnology and Development Monitor(23): 15-19.
The plant breeders’ rights (PBR) system is in use in most OECD countries as well as in some developing countries, but it is controversial. Private seed firms advocate PBR as it would stimulate innovation in plant breeding. Others argue that PBR may hamper the seed supply to farmers and may decrease genetic diversity. A notable problem in the controversy is that empirical evidence on the impact of PBR is lacking. A recent study has attempted to collect some experiences in Latin America, with an emphasis on Argentina.
van Wijk, J. and W. Jaffe (1996). Intellectual Property Rights and Agriculture in Developing Countries. Impact of Plant Breeders’ Rights in Developing Countries, Santa Fe de Bogota, Columbia, University of Amsterdam.
Proceedings of a seminar which had the following objectives: (i) to present and discuss the results of a project called “Impact of Plant Breeders’ Rights in Developing Countries: Debate and Experience in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay” with a group of experts; (ii) tp provide information, based on the current experience of developing countries, for the design, implementation, management and enforcement of breeders’ rights of use for countries introducing this type of IPR protection; and (iii) to assist developing countries in the design of IPR protection policies for agriculture and the international negotiations related to them, through the assessment of the latest trends and events in IPRs related to agriculture and development.
van Wijk, J. (1996). How Does Stronger Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Affect Seed Supply? Early Evidence of Impact. London, Overseas Development Institute.
A study on the relationships between stronger IPR protection in developing countries and seed supply, which finds that stronger plant-related IPR protection has apparently not increased the diversity of plant material available to farmers or enhanced the rate of innovation in plant breeding. Although evidence suggests a strong likelihood that flows of improved genetic material will increase in line with stronger protection, the author predicts that while commercial farmers might benefit from this, middle and lower income farmers will not because of likely restrictions on seed saving and exchange.
van Wijk, J. (1998). “Plant Patenting Provision Reviewed in WTO.” Biotechnology and Development Monitor(34): 6-9.
The WTO is set to re-evaluate the obligation of member states to protect plant materials legally. Patenting life forms has proven to be an internationally contentious issue for cultural and ethical reasons, and due to diverging economic interests. The standpoints of interest groups will basically set the lines for the new WTO negotiations: the biotechnology and seed industry and pressure groups that oppose the patenting of life forms.
Vane-Wright, R. I. (1996). Identifying Priorities for the Conservation of Biodiversity: Systematic Biological Criteria within a Socio-political Framework. Biodiversity: A Biology of Numbers and Difference. K. J. Gaston. Oxford, Blackwell Science: 309-386.
The author argues that solving the biodiversity conservation problem cannot be achieved without addressing the political problems of democracy. In this paper, he considers what, from a biological perspective, conservation priorities should be and then places these priorities in a suitable framework for action.
Vaver, D. (1991). “Some Agnostic Observations on Intellectual Property.” Intellectual Property Journal6: 125-153.
The oft-made claim that intellectual property laws are socially and economically necessary to encourage individual creativity and innovation appears, on examination, to be long on assertion and short on proof. This article looks at the history and operation of the copyright and patent laws, noting their paradoxes, inconsistencies and shortcomings. It seeks to refocus inquiry about these laws, rejecting conclusory analyses based on the character of these laws as a form of property.
The law of copyright has become a potent and wide-ranging instrument. This paper argues for a fundamental reassessment of domestic and international law. The protectionists’ cry of ‘to each cow its calf’ has produced an incoherent system many ordinary people find unacceptable. Questions such as what specific activities deserve encouragement, what stimulus should be offered, and who should benefit and in what proportions need to be asked and answered.
Velez, G. and GRAIN (1995). “Biodiversity Sell-Out in the Andean Pact?” Seedling12(1): 10-15.
Describes the people-led struggle going on within the Andean Pact countries, especially in Colombia, to counter regional initiatives that would impose on all member countries restrictive IPR and breeders’ rights.
Vellve, R. (1992). Saving the Seed: Genetic Diversity and European Agriculture. London, Earthscan Publications.
Genetic diversity is essential to the security of agriculture since without it crops cannot adapt to combat the ever-changing threats of pests, diseases and climatic change. This book traces the decline of crop varieties in European farming and describes what is being done to safeguard genetic resources for the future. It is argued that sound policies to promote the diversification of agriculture and an integrated strategy for safeguarding the genetic base of our food system are urgently needed.
Verma, S. K. (1995). “TRIPS and Plant Variety Protection in Developing Countries.” European Intellectual Property Review17(6): 281-289.
The TRIPS Agreement permits an effective sui generis system for plant varieties. Such a system for developing countries can be modelled broadly on the UPOV Convention, but considerations of economy, ecology, equity and employment should be emphasised to promote a sustainable job-led economic growth strategy in these countries.
Vidal, J. (1993). Whose New Lease on Life? The Guardian. London.
Industrial interest in natural products has intensified and pharmaceutical companies are bioprospecting as never before. However, there are enormous ethical, legal, human rights and conservation issues involved in the grey area where biodiversity meets biotechnology. The immediate problem is that the rush of interest in bioprospecting is taking place in a policy vacuum, yet the financial stakes are high. Although the INBio-Merck agreement is significant, in reality, benefits for developing countries are unlikely to be very great. Moreover, in spite of the efforts of companies like the Body Shop and Shaman Pharmaceuticals to deal fairly with indigenous people, many tribal groups are suspicious and view IPRs as a form of theft of their knowledge and resources.
Vira, B. (1995). Rights, Property Rights and their Protection: Implications for the Analysis of Environmental Policy. Oxford, Oxford Centre for the Environment, Ethics and Society.
This paper suggests that conflicting aims in the context of environmental decision-making can be viewed in terms of contestation over rights and property rights. The paper examines the theoretical foundations for rights and property claims, and the manner in which these receive social recognition, legitimisation and protection. Highlighting the ubiquity of choice as the central dilemma in environmental policy, the author argues that there are few policy prescriptions which are value-neutral.
Visser, B. (1998). Effects of Biotechnology on Agro-Biodiversity. Biotechnology and Development Monitor: 2-7.
Various biotechnologies have been developed which can have both a positive and negative effect on agro-biodiversity. The socio-economic context in which these technologies are developed and utilised will determine which applications, and thus which effects, will dominate.
Vogel, J. and G. Ingram (1993). “Biodiversity or ‘Genetically Coded Functions’: The Importance of Definitions.” Review of European Community and International Environmental Law2(2): 121-125.
Critique of the ‘biodiversity’ paradigm on grounds that it is not based on logic and thus cannot serve as a basis for economic solutions to the destruction of genetic diversity. Instead, a new term is proposed: ‘genetically coded functions.’
Vogel, J. H. (1997). Bioprospecting and the Justification for a Cartel. Bulletin of the Working Group on Traditional Resource Rights: 16-17.
A project based in Ecuador attempts to enable indigenous peoples to benefit from bioprospecting by transforming traditional knowledge into trade secrets. Knowledge from communities wishing to participate in the project will be catalogued and deposited in a restricted access database. If communities with the same knowledge were to compete rather than collaborate, there would be a price war that would benefit only the corporate end-users. To overcome this danger, the project envisages the creation of a cartel comprising those communities bearing the same trade secret.
Vogel, J. H. (1997). “The Successful Use of Economic Instruments to Foster Sustainable Use of Biodiversity: Six Case Studies from Latin America and the Caribbean.” Biopolicy (Online Journal - URL: http://www.bdt.org.br/bioline/py)2(5).
Reviews six categories of economic value that can be derived from the sustainable use of biodiversity: existence, ecotourism, environmental services, sustainable agriculture, extractivism, and bioprospecting. Although each case can be considered a success, and a few, remarkable successes, all can still profit from the application of contemporary economic theory. The challenge for sustainable development is to improve upon these, the best cases and replicate them whenever possible.
Von Weiszacker, C. (1996). Biodiversity Newspeak. The Life Industry. M. Baumann, J. Bell, F. Koechlin and M. Pimbert. London, Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd.: 53-68.
Argues that the public is being subjected to propaganda aimed at convincing of the desirability of biotechnology and its products.
Wachtel, P. S. (1993). Asia’s Sacred Groves. International Wildlife: 24-7.
Sacred groves and holy forests exist throughout South and East Asia, and seem to be a potent combination of drugstore, watershed, insurance policy and spiritual retreat. Often they survive without benefit of government gazzettement, nature wardens, education centre and sometimes even without government goodwill. They constitute a valid conservation option.
Walden, I. (1993). “Intellectual Property in Genetic Sequences.” Review of European Community and International Environmental Law2(2): 126-135.
Discusses the potential and limitations of granting countries IPR over their genetic diversity, which would require these countries to control access to their resources. The author’s analysis of legal protection of genetic information through a sui generis system indicates that such an approach could be difficult to achieve.
Walden, I. (1995). Preserving Biodiversity: The Role of Property Rights. Intellectual Property Rights and Biodiversity Conservation: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Values of Medicinal Plants. T. Swanson. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 176-197.
Considers the use of property law to protect the commercial exploitation of genetic material in naturally occurring biota. Attention is then given to the extent to which IPRs are currently being used by the biotechnology industry to protect their research investments. The final section reviews some of the issues underlying the creation of some form of sui generis property right in such genetic material.
Walgate, R. (1990). Miracle or Menace: Biotechnology and the Third World. London, The Panos Institute.
Explains biotechnology and its potential in the fields of health and food. Most biotechnology is in private hands, but corporations are concerned with making profits. This reality may be harmful to the interests of Third World countries. The main danger for these countries is substitution of new bio-industrial products for existing high-value Southern products. The main benefits may be some technology transfers. Public sector research is the key to appropriate biotechnology for Third World countries. NGOs and governments can help scientists listen to and learn from the poor so as to develop appropriate technologies.
Walt van Praag, M. v. (1994). The Political Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Political Need for Change. Voices of the Earth. L. v. d. Vlist. Amsterdam, NCIV & International Books: 168-177.
Overview of the struggle for self-determination of indigenous peoples throughout the world.
Warren, D. M., L. J. Slikkerveer, et al., Eds. (1995). The Cultural Dimension of Development: Indigenous Knowledge Systems. London, Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd.
The case studies in this volume confirm that local people know a great deal about their environment, and demonstrate that local knowledge must be taken into account in the planning and implementation of development.
Indigenous organisations are local-level institutions with a community base, such as women’d groups, ethnic associations, traditional religious groups, and a wide variety of other social groups. This book investigates local planning and management systems, local levels of technology use and development, community-based systems of evaluation and capacity building, and distinct social roles of the varied groups which exist worldwide.
WATU Accion Indigena, Ed. (1997). Watu: Diversidad Biologica, Diversidad Cultural. Madrid, WATU Accion Indigena.
This book is a collection of photographs of indigenous people throughout the world and of texts that deal with such issues as: indigenous women; the CBD; TRIPS, intellectual property and sui generis rights; and traditional resource rights. (In Spanish).
Wearne, P. (1996). Return of the Indian: Conquest and Revival in the Americas. London, Cassell & Latin America Bureau.
Chronicles the 500 years of injustice suffered by the indigenous peoples of the American continent as well as their present day struggle for self-determination
Weiner, J. G. (1987). “Protection of Folklore: A Political and Legal Challenge.” International Review of Industrial Property and Copyright Law18(1): 56-92.
Author defines folklore as a starting point for the investigation of recent attempts to protect folklore through legal means. Various possibilities are considered such as copyright law, model laws, and the ‘paid public domain’.
Weinstock, J. A. and N. T. Vergara (1987). “Land or Plants: Agricultural Tenure in Agroforestry Systems.” Economic Botany41(2): 312-22.
The distinction between the rights to land and rights to plants is often overlooked when viewing agricultural tenure in developing countries. This distinction is crucial to understanding traditional agricultural systems, especially where agroforestry is practised or its introduction is proposed. It is concluded that the perceptual separation of land and plant rights needs to be explored if agroforestry practices are not only to be ecologically and economically feasible but also culturally acceptable.
Weiss, C., Jr., (1995). A Proposed New Fund to Promote Value-Added Through Bioprospecting. Geneva, International Academy of the Environment,
Stockholm Environment Institute.
Explains the rationale for the plans of the International Organisation of Chemical Sciences to launch a Biotic Exploration Fund, whose purpose is to attract sustained new finding for scientific and technological capacity for bioprospecting in developing countries.
Wells, A. J. (1994). “Patenting Life Forms: An Ecological Perspective.” European Intellectual Property Review3: 111-118.
Far from being an inappropriate place for the consideration of ethical and moral issues, patent regimes have continually been used explicitly to make moral value judgements. The ideology of development and technocentricity embodied in the patent system has allowed patent systems to grant patents for new life forms, despite many calls by the broader community for limits to this extension. The ecological implications of allowing these patents are numerous. The author argues that the patent application mechanism should be opened up to a broad range of community views.
Western, D. and M. Pearl, Eds. (1989). Conservation for the Twenty-First Century. New York, Oxford University Press.
The book looks at a range of approaches unified by a common interest in conserving nature, and reviews the future prospects for wildlife and habitat with a view to identifying those approaches and techniques required to secure their place through the next century. The book is organised around four themes: tomorrow’s world; conservation biology; conservation management; and conservation realities.
White, J. (1991). European Community Plays Down Problems on Intellectual Property Rights. Crosscurrents: 4.
Discusses the debate on IPRs that took place during the 3rd UNCED PrepCom.
White, J. (1991). Fighting for the Right to Say No. Crosscurrents: 11.
Interview with Darrell Posey of the Global Coalition for Bio-Cultural Diversity, who argues that the world has much to learn from indigenous peoples, but first, their IPRs must be legally protected.
Whitworth, D. (1991). Intellectual Property: The Consumer View of Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights. London, National Consumer Council.
The paper first defines and identifies the consumer interest in IPR regulation and international trade. It then examines the economic implications for EC consumers of the TRIPS negotiations. Thirdly, the paper considers how far EC treaties and regulations on competition and IPRs and the internal market take consumers into account and benefit them, and examines some key cases. Finally, it considers the costs and benefits for European consumers of intellectual property in two specific areas: pharmaceutical patents and copyright protection of software.
Wilbert, W. (1996). Environment, Society, and Disease: The Response of Phytotherapy to Disease Among the Warao Indians of the Orinoco Delta. Medicinal Resources of the Tropical Forest: Biodiversity and Its Importance to Human Health. M. J. Balick, E. Elisabetsky and S. A. Laird. New York, Columbia University Press: 366-385.
Describes traditional plant-based health care as practiced by the Warao people of Venezuela.
Wild, R. G. and J. Mutebi (1996). Conservation through Community Use of Plant Resources: Establishing Collaborative Management at Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks, Uganda. Paris, UNESCO.
Describes experiences of collaborative management including community organisations in two Ugandan protected areas.
Wilkie, T. (1998). Lords of Creation. Prospect: 20-24.
A huge advance in our understanding of the human genetic code has opened the way to potential cures for killer diseases. It has also set private drug companies against the public sector Human Genome Project over whether patenting is appropriate for human genes.
Wilkinson, R. and B. E. with Spergel (1995). Environmental Funds: A New Approach to Sustainable Development. New York, Interagency Planning Group.
This summary outlines the key issues emerging from a meeting to brief interested members of the OECD/Development Assistance Committee Working Party and others on the use of environmental funds as a development tool.
Wilson, E. O., Ed. (1988). Biodiversity. Washington DC, National Academy Press.
Assesses the importance of biodiversity, the danger of biodiversity erosion, current strategies to deal with mass extinctions, and future prospects.
The author describes the death throes of the living world’s diversity, which is projected to decline as much as 20% by the year 2020, and makes a plea for specific actions that will enhance rather than diminish not just diversity but the quality of life on earth.
Wolf, E. R. (1982). Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, University of California Press.
Application of history to anthropology as a means of uncovering the impacts of European colonial expansionism on the native “people without history” of Africa, Asia and the Americas. The result is a global historical document that excludes no one.
Wood, D. (1994). Conservation and Agriculture: The Need for a New International Network of Biodiversity and Development Institutes to Resolve Conflict. Widening Perspectives on Biodiversity. A. F. Krattiger, J. A. McNeely, W. H. Lesseret al. Gland & Geneva, IUCN & IAE: 425-434.
Argues against the ‘people without parks’ conception of many environmentalists and funding agencies. Instead there should be greater investment in agricultural research including livestock research. Proposes creation of a system of biodiversity and development institutes on the lines of the CGIAR.
Wood, D. and J. M. Lenne (1997). “The Conservation of Agrobiodiversity On-farm: Questioning the Emerging Paradigm.” Biodiversity and Conservation6: 109-129.
The CBD has given a clear mandate for on-farm conservation. However, lack of scientific knowledge has not prevented an explosion of recommendations on how to conserve agrobiodiversity on farm, and it is possible to identify an emerging paradigm. This article reviews some of the assumptions upon which this paradigm is based, showing that if attempts to conserve biodiversity are based on these misconceptions, they are likely to fail. An alternative research agenda is proposed.
Woodmansee, M. (1984). “The Genius and the Copyright: Economic and Legal Conditions of the Emergence of the ‘Author’.” Eighteenth Century Studies17(4): 425-48.
Traces the 18th century evolution of the notion of authorship. Until then, writers were not credited with original thought or regarded as the main creators of a book. Thus the early professional writers were exploited and publishers were seriously affected by reproduction of works. ‘Authorship’ made the interest of writers, public and publishers conveniently appear identical.
Working Group on Traditional Resource Rights (1995-97). Bulletin of the Working Group on Traditional Resource Rights. Oxford.