Message from Francis Gurry, Director General
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Human activity, including decades of technological development, has damaged our planet. Wide-spread pollution and spiraling consumption of the world’s mineral and biological reserves have put unprecedented stress on the environment. Climate change is one of the greatest threats ever faced by society: glaciers are disappearing; desertification is increasing; in Africa alone, between 75 and 250 million people will face increased water shortages by 2020.
As human activity caused the problem, so too can human activity find the solutions. Green innovation – the development and diffusion of technological means to tackle climate change – is key to halting the depletion of the earth’s resources. The race is on to develop accessible alternative sources of energy, as we work to harness the wind and tides, capture the power of the sun, and tap the geothermal energy underground. New plant varieties are being developed to withstand drought and flooding. New environmentally friendly materials will help us construct a more sustainable world.
On World IP Day 2009, the World Intellectual Property Organization highlights the contribution of a balanced intellectual property system to stimulating the creation, diffusion and application of clean technologies; to promoting green design, aimed at creating products that are eco-friendly from conception to disposal; to green branding, helping consumers make informed choices and giving companies a competitive edge.
The power of human ingenuity is our best hope for restoring the delicate balance between ourselves and our environment. It is our greatest asset in finding solutions to this global challenge, enabling us to move forward from the carbon-based, grey technologies of the past to the carbon-neutral, green innovation of the future.