Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Costa Rica approves CAFTA

Via Conservation Commons comes "Indigenous knowledge safe — for now" by María Flórez-Estrada, Yorleny Gamboa. This piece explains that Costa Rica has approved the last of 13 laws to implement the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA), concluding just over a year of intense debate and two postponements. On IP the text reads:
"The final law —- and one of the most hotly debated —- originally included an article that would have risked intellectual property rights for Costa Rica’s indigenous population. But a last-minute omission of the article allowed for the law to pass.

That first version of the proposal, dubbed “the sweeping bill” for the number of issues it grouped, called for allowing private companies to limitless patents of animal and vegetable species, a clear threat to ancient knowledge, specifically of medicinal plants".
This proposal was reportedly rejected by the Supreme Court's Constitutional Chamber for failure to consult the country´s indigenous peoples.

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