Article: Treaty governance, intellectual property and biodiversity

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The regulation of intellectual property rights in resources associated with biodiversity is a major issue of global concern. It would be difficult to challenge the argument that no other category of legal rules affects the distribution of wealth more than property rules. The enclosure of the intellectual commons is occurring in various areas of science and technology, including in information technology and cyberspace, and in biotechnology relating to pharmaceuticals, medicine and human genetics. This article asks ‘What is biodiversity?’ and ‘Why is biodiversity preservation important?’ then focuses on the United Nations Framework Convention on Biological Diversity concluded on 5 June 1992 at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. The author then compares the Convention to other international agreements, looking at divergent models of treaty governance.

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