SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has today (Tuesday) welcomed a vote in the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee on a parliamentary opinion he had drafted on the Nagoya Protocol.

The Nagoya Protocol exists under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity signed in Rio in 1992. Its aims are to ensure equitable and sustainable use of genetic resources, with particular emphasis on ensuring fairness for developing nations.

The Protocol was signed by the EU and most of its Member States - and today's vote was part of the process of formally implementing its terms at EU level.

Commenting after the vote, Mr Hudghton said:

"The Nagoya Protocol is an important element in international efforts to protect biological resources. The 1992 Rio Convention set out broad objectives for the conservation of biological diversity - but the Nagoya text puts real meat on the bone.

"All too often large companies in the industrialised world have stood accused of "bio-piracy": of using the genetic resources of the developing world without giving fair recompense. This new international agreement should change that and ensure greater equity across the world.

"My own key concerns lie with the indigenous and local communities who stand to benefit from Nagoya. The European Commission's proposed legislation didn't specifically mention these communities - and I'm glad that I got unanimous backing from my colleagues to amend this.

"Today's vote is a vote to recognise sovereign rights over natural resources and to ensure that the benefits of these are equitably distributed".

Notes for editors
The vote in the Fisheries Committee was on the Hudghton written opinion on the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources
available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/pech/pa/926/926030/926030en.pdf

The opinion was adopted unanimously and will now be sent to the Environment Committee for consideration before a vote in plenary session of the parliament. This is part of the formal process for implementing the Protocol in EU law.

Details of the Protocol are available at http://www.cbd.int/abs/about/

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