World Intellectual Property Organization

Convention on Biological Diversity

Argentina

Declaration made upon ratification:
"The Argentine Government considers that this Convention represents a step forward in that it establishes among its objectives the sustainable use of biological diversity. Likewise, the definitions contained in article 2 and other provisions of the Convention indicate that the terms "genetic resources", "biological resources" and "biological material" do not include the human genome. In accordance with the commitments entered into in the Convention, the Argentine Nation will pass legislation on the conditions of access to biological resources and the ownership of future rights and benefits arising from them. The Convention is fully consistent with the principles established in the "Agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights", including trade in counterfeit goods, contained in the Final Act of the Uruguay Round of GATT."

Austria

Declaration:
"The Republic of Austria declares in accordance with article 27, paragraph 3 of the Convention that it accepts both of the means of dispute settlement mentioned in this paragraph as compulsory in relation to any Party accepting an obligation concerning one or both of these means of dispute settlement."

Chile

Declaration:
"The Government of Chile, on ratifying the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992, wishes to place on record that the pine tree and other species that the country exploits as one of its forestry resources are considered exotic and are not taken to fall within the scope of the Convention."

Cuba

Declaration:
"The Government of the Republic of Cuba declares, with respect to article 27 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, that as far as the Republic of Cuba is concerned, disputes that arise between Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this international legal instrument shall be settled by negotiation through the diplomatic channel or, failing that, by arbitration in accordance with the procedure laid down in Annex II on arbitration of the Convention."

European Union (EU)

Declaration:
"Within their respective competence, the European Community and its Member States wish to reaffirm the importance they attach to transfers of technology and to biotechnology in order to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The compliance with intellectual property rights constitutes an essential element for the implementation of policies for technology transfer and co-investment.
For the European Community and its member States, transfers of technology and access to biotechnology, as defined in the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity, will be carried out in accordance with article 16 of the said Convention and in compliance with the principles and rules of protection of intellectual property, in particular multilateral and bilateral agreements signed or negotiated by the Contracting Parties to this Convention.
The European Community and its Member States will encourage the use of the financial mechanism established by the Convention to promote the voluntary transfer of intellectual property rights held by European operators, in particular as regards the granting of licences, through normal commercial mechanisms and decisions, while ensuring adequate and effective protection of property rights."

France

Declaration made upon signature:
"With reference to article 3, that it interprets that article as a guiding principle to be taken into account in the implementation of the Convention;
With reference to article 21, paragraph 1, that the decision taken periodically by the Conference of the Parties concerns the "amount of resources needed" and that no provision of the Convention authorizes the Conference of the Parties to take decisions concerning the amount, nature or frequency of the contributions from Parties to the Convention."

Georgia

Declaration:
"The Republic of Georgia will use both means for dispute settlement referred to in the Convention:
1. Arbitral consideration in accordance with the procedure given in the enclosure II, Part I.
2. Submitting of disputes to the International Court."

Ireland

Declaration:
"Ireland wishes to reaffirm the importance it attaches to transfers of technology and to biotechnology in order to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The compliance with intellectual property rights constitutes an essential element for the implementation of policies for technology transfer and co-investment.
For Ireland, transfers of technology and access to biotechnology, as defined in the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity and in compliance with the principles and rules of protection of intellectual property, in particular multilateral and bilateral agreements signed or negotiated by the contracting parties to this Convention.
Ireland will encourage the use of the financial mechanism established by the Convention to promote the voluntary transfer of intellectual property rights held by Irish operators, in particular as regards the granting of licences, through normal commercial mechanisms and decisions, while ensuring adequate and effective protection of property rights."

Italy

Declaration made upon signature and confirmed upon ratification:
"The Italian Government [...] declares its understanding that the decision to be taken by the Conference of the Parties under article 21.1 of the Convention refers to the "amount of resources needed" by the financial mechanism, not to the extent or nature and form of the contributions of the Contracting Parties."

Latvia

Declaration:
"The Republic of Latvia declares in accordance with article 27 paragraph 3 of the Convention that it accepts both the means of dispute settlement mentioned in this paragraph as compulsory."

Liechtenstein

Declaration:
"The Principality of Liechtenstein wishes to reaffirm the importance it attaches to transfers of technology and to biotechnology in order to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. The compliance with intellectual property rights constitutes an essential element for the implementation of policies for technology transfer and co-investment.
For the Principality of Liechtenstein, transfers of technology and access to biotechnology, as defined in the text of the [said] Convention, will be carried out in accordance with article 16 of the said Convention and in compliance with the principles and rules of protection of intellectual property, in particular multilateral and bilateral agreements signed or negotiated by the Contracting Parties to this Convention.
The Principality of Liechtenstein will encourage the use of the financial mechanism established by the Convention to promote the voluntary transfer of intellectual property rights held by Liechtenstein operators, in particular as regards the granting of licenses, through normal commercial mechanisms and decisions, while ensuring adequate and effective protection of property rights."

Papua New Guinea

Declaration:
"The Government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea declares its understanding that ratification of the Convention shall in no way constitute a renunciation of any rights under International Law concerning State responsibility for the adverse effects of Biological Diversity as derogating from the principles of general International Law."

Sudan

Understanding:
"With respect to the principle stipulated in article 3, the Government of the Sudan agrees with the spirit of the article and interprets it to mean that no state is responsible for acts that take place outside its control even if they fall within its judicial jurisdiction and may cause damage to the environment of other states or of areas beyond the limits of national judicial jurisdiction."
"The Sudan also sees as regards article 14 (2), that the issue of liability and redress for damage to biological diversity should not form a priority to be tackled by the Agreement as there is ambiguity regarding the essence and scope of the studies to be carried out, in accordance with the above-mentioned article. The Sudan further believes that any such studies on liability and redress should shift towards effects of areas such as biotechnology products, environmental impacts, genetically modified organisms and acid rains."

Switzerland

Declaration made upon ratification:
"Switzerland wishes to reaffirm the importance it attaches to transfers of technology and to biotechnology in order to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity The compliance with intellectual property rights constitutes an essential element for the implementation of policies for technology transfer and co-investment.
For Switzerland, transfers of technology and access to biotechnology, as defined in the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity, will be carried out in accordance with article 16 of the said Convention and in compliance with the principles and rules of protection of intellectual property, in particular multilateral and bilateral agreements signed or negotiated by the Contracting Parties to this Convention.
Switzerland will encourage the use of the financial mechanism established by the Convention to promote the voluntary transfer of intellectual property rights held by Swiss operators, in particular as regards the granting of licences, through normal commercial mechanisms and decisions, while ensuring adequate and effective protection of property rights."

Declaration made upon signature:
"The Swiss Government wishes to emphasize particularly the progress made in establishing standard terms for cooperation between States in a very important field: research activities and activities for the transfer of technology relevant to resources from third countries.
The important provisions in question create a platform for even closer cooperation with public research bodies or institutions in Switzerland and for the transfer of technologies available to governmental or public bodies, particularly universities and various publicly-funded research and development centres.
It is our understanding that genetic resources acquired under the procedure specified in article 15 and developed by private research institutions will be the subject of programmes of cooperation, joint research and the transfer of technology which will respect the principles and rules for the protection of intellectual property.
These principles and rules are essential for research and private investment, in particular in the latest technologies, such as modern biotechnology which requires substantial financial outlays. On the basis of this interpretation, the Swiss Government wishes to indicate that it is ready, at the opportune time, to take the appropriate general policy measures, particularly under articles 16 and 19, with a view to promoting and encouraging cooperation, on a contractual basis, between Swiss firms and the private firms and governmental bodies of other Contracting Parties.
With regard to financial cooperation, Switzerland interprets the provisions of articles 20 and 21 as follows: the resources to be committed and the management system will have regard, in an equitable manner, to the needs and interests of the developing countries and to the possibilities and interests of the developed countries."

Syrian Arab Republic

Declaration made upon signature:
"It is being understood that the signing of this Convention shall not constitute recognition of Israel or leading to any intercourse with it."

United Kingdom

Declaration made upon signature and confirmed upon ratification:
"The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland declare their understanding that article 3 of the Convention sets out a guiding principle to be taken into account in the implementation of the Convention.
The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland also declare their understanding that the decisions to be taken by the Conference of the Parties under paragraph 1 of article 21 concern "the amount of resources needed" by the financial mechanism, and that nothing in article 20 or 21 authorises the Conference of the Parties to take decisions concerning the amount, nature, frequency or size of the contributions of the Parties under the Convention."

 

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