The New Patent Law Aims To Protect Genetic Resources

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Jakarta (Greeners) – Aside from Ministerial Regulation on Genetic Resources, protection to these resources can also be under the newly issued Law on Patent, said a senior official, in Jakarta, on Tuesday (23/8).

Director General of Research and Development, Ministry Research, Technology, and High Education, M. Dimyati, said that Law on Patent could strengthened the protection of the country’s massive genetic resources.

“We will regulate on the research to patent process, and benefit sharing,” said Dimyati adding that foreign tourists and scientists more often than not manage to steal Indonesia’s genetic resources through national parks.

The Law on Patent will be stipulating for foreign scientists to cooperate with local scientists and determine benefit sharing concept.

READ ALSO: KLHK Prepares Ministerial Regulation To Protect Genetic Resources

Similar regulation had also been issued through 2006 Government Regulation on Research and Development Permit for Foreign Universities, Research Institutes, and Development, Foreign Owned Company, and Foreign Individual.

“If it’s for initial assessment, we could let it pass. But, if they’re planning on large scale research and collecting samples then we impose the regulation,” he said.

Enny Sudarmonowati, Deputy of Sciences, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, said that there has yet any exact data on potential genetic resources managed to be stolen by foreign scientists then patented abroad. However, from several cases, Sudarmonowati said, that the issue of natural resources protection has lack of attention in Indonesia.

Furthermore, she said that there should be socialization to public on the importance of genetic resources as biopiracy was not limited to illegal activities but also legal practice and straight forward activities.

READ ALSO: Biopiracy Threatens Biodiversity in Indonesia

Indonesia, she said, had already ratified Nagoya Protocol in 2013 on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Balance Benefit Sharing from Biodiversity Convention.

“Before Nagoya Protocol and ratification, we had lost lots of opportunities in genetic resources. Our genetic resources were taken outside the country and we got nothing in return,” she added.

Genetic resources are being handled by Ministry of Research Technology and High Education for its permits, meanwhile Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture are dealing with results of genetic resources researches.

Reports by Danny Kosasih