Assembly approves motion to protect our resources


21-March-2012

A motion asking the Assembly to approve the Nagoya Protocol was tabled by the leader of government business Marie-Antoinette Rose.

This protocol was adopted in 2010 and will come into force 90 days after 50 countries have ratified it. It applies to genetic resources that are covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity – a global agreement which aims to promote sustainable development.

Ms Rose said small island states like us and developing countries have a lot to benefit by ratifying the protocol.
“It is countries that have the most resources which are most of the times exploited by industrialised countries.”

She said Seychelles also has a diversity of species both in terms of plants and animals and locals have already identified their medicinal properties.

“The protocol will protect the traditional knowledge of our own people who knows very well how to use these resources,” she said.

Ms Rose added that it will also contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
She explained that the Nagoya Protocol will “create greater legal certainty for providers as well as users of the genetic resources”.

“This will be done by allowing favourable conditions for access to such resources and ensure that the benefits are also shared by the country providing them.”

She said Seychelles need to have a mechanism in place once the protocol has been ratified.
“For example once a Seychellois has made a discovery the person will know where to go for guidance and assistance.” 

“We need to have the required regulations for such discoveries as well as the capacity to test the discoveries in our university,” she added.

Ms Rose said most industrialised countries are refusing to sign the protocol as they will not be able to steal and greatly benefit from genetic resources in the developing countries.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly David Pierre said Seychelles needs to support the protocol as we attach great importance to the protection of our biodiversity.

“Most pharmaceutical and medicinal products are made from plants or micro-organisms which can be found here,” he said.
He added that the protocol will give us the legal framework to protect our resources as well as benefit from them.

Among others who commented on the motion were Parti Lepep members Chantal Ghislain, Sebastien Pillay, Murielle Marie, Natasha Esther and Charles Decommarmond.

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