A study carried out by the Peruvian Anti-Biopiracy Commission and recently submitted to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member countries, claims that Peru is the world leader in the protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples, thanks to its advanced legislation and the legal innovation regarding this matter.

Biopiracy is known as the unauthorized and uncompensated access and use of biological resources or traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples by third parties.

The Anti-Biopiracy Commission, which tracks and identifies biopiracy cases, has developed a system for the prevention and protection of Peruvian biological resources and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples by opposing patent applications and/or challenging granted patents abroad. The goal of this work is not preventing the use of these resources, but making sure that they are used legally and with a fair contribution for the benefit of the sustainable development of the country and especially of the native communities.

The report shows that the Peruvian Anti-Biopiracy Commission has resolved favourably 15 biopiracy cases related to native plants. As an example, the Commission has managed to invalidate six patents involving maca root (plant native to the Peruvian Andean provinces of Junín and Cerro de Pasco) for the manufacture of medicines for the treatment of osteoporosis, sleeping disorders, and testosterone deficiency increase in Japan, Korea and Europe.

Additionally, other cases related to yacón, pasuchaca(plants native to the Andes used to treat diabetes), sachainchi and camucamu (plants native to the Amazon rainforest areas of Iquitos, Tarapoto and Pucallpa) were successful at early stages since the Anti-Biopiracy Commission opposed to the patent applications.

Peruvian legislation on biopiracy is based on "Decision No. 391 Establishing the Common Regime on Access to Genetic Resources," in force since 1996 in the Andean Community of Nations member countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), and Law 27811 "Protecting Access to Peruvian Biological Diversity and the Collective Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples," in force since 2002.

Source: https://www.indecopi.gob.pe

Previously published on 14 March 2016

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