Out of Africa: Mysteries of access and benefit sharing

In late 2005 the Edmunds Institute and the African Centre for Biosafety contacted famed bio-pirate hunter Jay McGowan to investigate incidences of access and benefit sharing in Africa. Despite many constraints on the research, McGowan found a plethora of incidents where transnational corporations had utilised African biodiversity without concluding benefit sharing agreements with the local communities or countries they had acquired them from. In a personal note attached to his report, McGowan concluded:

'It's a free-for-all out there, and until the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) solve the problems of access and benefit sharing, the robbery will continue. They've got to declare a moratorium on access until a just protocol on access and benefit sharing is finished and implemented?until that work is done, the bio-pirates will keep on shouting in the ears of their victims, ?There's no such thing as biopiracy!?'

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