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World Governments Reach Biodiversity Agreement

Nagoya conference adopts sweeping new conservation plan and deal to fight biopiracy

Just past 1:30 this morning, a Nagoya meeting hall packed with representatives of 179 countries heaved a collective sigh of relief and burst into a standing ovation. After two weeks of tense negotiations, some deft diplomacy by Japan, and a final meeting…
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by: Winnie Bird – October 29, 2010

Following the Money at COP 10

Countries are divided over conservation funding, but will more money really solve the biodiversity crisis?

One morning a few days ago, I was sitting despondently at my desk in the COP 10 conference center, wondering whether another week of argument between delegates over targets, financial mechanisms, and benefit-sharing would really help bees and butterflies back home. Just…
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by: Winnie Bird – October 26, 2010

Geo-Engineering Ban Likely at COP10 this Week

Outcome of talks on access and benefit sharing and conservation plan remains uncertain.

Three seats out of four were still empty this Friday in the Media Center at the Congress Center in Nagoya, Japan, where delegates from 193 countries are meeting for a UN conference on biodiversity this week and next. Outside, too, protesters in…
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by: Winnie Bird – October 25, 2010

Conflicts over Biopiracy Could Endanger Biodiversity Conference

Negotiations over access and benefit sharing already underway ahead of tomorrow's opening ceremony

Winnie Bird Mattias Ahren, representative of the Saami people from Northern Europe, gets ready to start ABS negotiations. Six months ago, the marine activist group Sea Shepherd issued a press release calling for a boycott of COP 10, the UN conference on…
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by: Winnie Bird – October 16, 2010

GMOs Beyond Borders: The Politics of Risk

Can an international treaty help us make better choices about GMOs?

India already has 2,500 kinds of eggplant, but recently, Monsanto and Indian seed company Mahyco tried to introduce one more: "BT brinjal." Seeds for the insect-proof veggie were approved by regulators, but, facing public and academic outrage over an allegedly flimsy risk…
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by: Winnie Bird – October 13, 2010

Polluter Pays Principal Set to Reach Biotech Industry

New global agreement would hold corporations accountable for environmental impacts of modified organisms

Beginning in 1998, biotech titan Monsanto sued Canadian canola farmer Percy Schmeiser for $400,000 after some of the corporation’s patented genetically modified seeds blew onto Schmeiser’s farm and sprouted there without his knowledge. But according to an international agreement likely to be…
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by: Winnie Bird – October 11, 2010

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