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Breakthrough ‘near’ at UN biodiversity talks

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

NAGOYA, Japan (AFP) – A UN biodiversity meeting is close to adopting what would be a historic deal governing the use of genetic treasures such as those found in the Amazon, host Japan said on Friday.

“A draft decision has been agreed upon by representatives of regional groups. I would like to consider the adoption of this draft agreement later,” Japanese Environment Minister Ryu Matsumoto told delegates.

An area of Sumatran forest cleared by a logging company, seen in August 2010. AFP

Negotiators involved in the talks have said that, if the deal is struck, it would likely pave the way for agreement on a 20-point plan aimed at protecting ecosystems and curbing the rapid extinction of animal and plant species.

However, delegates cautioned that each individual country still needed to approve the proposed “Access and Benefits Sharing Protocol”.

“On the edge of our seats in Nagoya. Do we have a deal on ABS?” European environment commissioner Janez Potocnik said in a message posted on microblogging website Twitter.

Brazil and other developing countries argue rich nations and companies should not be allowed to freely take genetic resources such as wild plants to make medicines, cosmetics and other products for huge profits.

The 12-day summit is due to end on Friday night.

Source: SGGP

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