"As one of the 10 biodiversity-rich countries, Indonesia is vulnerable to biopiracy, wherein our biological resources can be taken by foreign researchers or other foreign institutions," Siregar cautioned during a discussion on genetic resources protection, organized by the Environment and Forestry Ministry here on Tuesday.
He said biopiracy could further lead to submission of patent applications by foreign institutions for commercial purposes.
Many biodiversity-rich countries are developing economies and this situation has prompted some parties in developed nations to seek genetic resources from developed countries to meet their economic goals, he added.
Indonesia has ratified the Nagoya Protocols on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. The protocols regulate the use and global trade of biodiversity, including benefit sharing, mutual benefit transfer agreement, notification to stakeholders, and transfer of technology.
The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework would be adopted in the second semester of 2021 to strengthen international actions to reach the targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Siregar informed.
Meanwhile, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya emphasized the importance of protecting the country's genetic resources as they are connected directly to Indonesia's geo-strategy, geo-politic, and geo-economy.
Nurbaya said Indonesia's inability to manage its biodiversity would be a challenge for the country, while many foreign parties with advanced technology are keen to utilize its genetic resources.
"We must protect Indonesia's genetic resource potential and prevent it from being transferred to foreign parties without government approval," she added. (INE)
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