Francis Gurry led WIPO as Director General from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2020.

IP Can Support Biodiversity

Geneva, May 21, 2010

On the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) on May 22, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry underlined the Organization’s commitment to ensuring that the intellectual property (IP) system plays a positive role in safeguarding biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components and the sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. 

WIPO is an active participant in international discussions relating to the Convention on Biological Diversity. WIPO’s program on traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions aims to empower states and indigenous and local communities to negotiate a fair share of benefits derived from the exploitation of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge.  Upon request from member states, WIPO undertakes a wide range of capacity-strengthening activities to support this.
WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) began “text-based negotiations” in early May and is breaking new ground in developing an international legal framework to effectively protect traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions.  

In this year, the International Year of Biodiversity, WIPO is organizing its first-ever Open Day on June 5, 2010 to coincide with World Environment Day. This will provide an opportunity for the Organization to showcase its activities in this area and demonstrate how its work helps contribute to human, technological and social progress. Displays will highlight the role of intellectual property in promoting sustainable innovation.

For more information, please contact the News and Media Division at WIPO:
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