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Patenting plants: The implications for developing countries

Briefing/policy papers

Global interest in biological diversity - 'biodiversity' - and its conservation has grown rapidly in recent years, exemplified by the signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity by over 150 countries as part of the UNCED (UN Conference on Environment and Development) package in 1992. This Briefing Paper examines the debate surrounding the extension of intellectual property protection to plant genetic resources, and the potential consequences of this extension for developing country (LDC) farmers as producers and conservers of biodiversity.