Monday, September 4, 2017

Access to Biological Resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Bill 2017

The ABS Bill have been passed, according to parliament. The bill seeks to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity and Nagoya Protocol.

Malaysia is rich in biodiversity. The bill imposes a requirement of a permit for commercial or potential commercial exploitation of biological resources. The permit is provided after a benefit sharing agreement is established with the resource provider of biological resources. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment at federal level or State Economic Planning can issue the permit. Anyone who accessed biological resources without a permit commits an offense.

If the Federal Government or State Authority is not the resource provider, it may require the applicant to pay a percentage of monetary benefits derived under the benefit sharing agreement. If the biological resource is obtained from land which indigenous and local community have a right, or traditional knowledge held by the community, a consent is required to be obtained.

Any person applying for a patent, in or outside Malaysia, in relation to a biological resource shall notify the government in writing within thirty days from the date of application. The person that did not comply commits an offense.

A reward may be provided for informers for services rendered in connection with the detection of any offense under this Act.

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