VANUATU ASSERTS BIODIVERSITY RIGHTS

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SOUTH PACIFIC REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (SPREP) Apia, Samoa

PRESS RELEASE May 7, 2001

Vanuatu will look to tighten legislation on biological and genetic resources, as a safeguard from overseas corporations and multi national companies looking to exploit them for unfair commercial gain.

During a recent workshop in the capital of Port Vila, Vanuatu Environment Director Mr. Ernest Bani told government and private sector delegates of past experiences over bioprospecting and says the Environment Act now under review would include provisions specifically targeting the practice.

Legal Officer for the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Mr. Andrea Volentras says interest from large international companies has increased the need for proper legal measures to be taken by member countries in order to protect their customary rights to their biological and genetic resources.

In a statement following the workshop, the participants recommended that:

The workshop was organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature –South Pacific Programme and the Foundation for International Law and Development (FIELD) and SPREP.

For additional information, contact Fatu Tauafiafi chrisp@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">(chrisp@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">(fatut@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">fatut@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">chrisp@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">(chrisp@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">(fatut@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">fatut@sprep.org.ws) or Chris Peteru chrisp@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">(chrisp@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">(fatut@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">fatut@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">chrisp@sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">(chrisp@sprep.org.ws).

Chris Peteru Editorial/Publications Officer South Pacific Regional Environment Programme PO Box 240 Apia, Samoa Tel (685) 21929 Fax(685)20231

Email: chrisp@sprep.org.ws 

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