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Further Discussions

2 Environmental Issues:

1) BIOSAFETY
2) BIOPROSPECTING
BIOSAFETY
A condition in which the probability
of harm, injury and damage resulting
from the intentional and unintentional
introduction and/or use of a regulated
article is within acceptable and
manageable levels."
Biosafety and Alien Invasive Species

GMO Genetically Modified Organism


a product of genetic engineering, a
process that allows for the selection
and transfer of specific genes from
one organism to another.
safety issues: possible effects on
humans and the environment have
been and continue to be raised.
ISSUES against GMO introduction
and commercialization

1) Human Health Concern


2) Environmental Concerns (especially
with regard to GM crops)
3) Regulatory Concerns
1. Human Health Concern
Bt Corn case -- "so far, the only approved GM crop for
commercial propagation.
Advantage: more produce for farmers because of reduction in
insect infestations.
Disadvantage: "Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt tactics" used by
those rallying against GMOs.
Dumlao-Santos: "in dealing with GMO, it is human logic that
will resolve issues on human technology."
this Bt substance, a protein, exists in an inactivated form; it
is activated only in the alkaline medium of the insect's gut.
Once activated, the toxin, which is the gut poison, causes
negative effects. But human stomachs are acidic, thus toxins
cannot be activated.
Eating Bt corn is no different from eating non-Bt corn.
2. Environmental Concerns
Danger of "gene flow" -- possibility that GM crops will
hybridize with their wild relatives, resulting in the transfer
of the transgenes from the GM crops to their wild
counterparts.

May lead to harmful environmental situations:


a) occurrence of so-called "superweeds"
b) threat of extinction of the wild relatives of the GM crops
c) "genetic pollution" of natural ecosystem diversity
d) repercussions on non-targeted organisms as well as
cause the intended recipients to become immune to the
pesticides or diseases
3) Regulatory Concerns
1) COSTS -- cost in complying with the biosafety regulatory
requirements may deter a small firm or public sector institution
from pursuing GM technologies, or may cause them to abandon
or delay commercialization of potentially valuable products.
2) LIMITATIONS -- limits the avenues for commercialization to
mostly large corporations who have enough capital to shoulder
high transactional costs.
3) DELAY -- delay in time for regulatory approval caused for
example by slow or lengthy review procedures, which in turn
result to losses for the investing entity.
4) INSUFFICIENCY the present biosafety regulations lacks
measures for transparent, independent, and participatory
implementation and mechanisms through which socio-
economic concerns could be addressed in the biosafety
decision process.
BIOPROSPECTING
Wildlife Resources Conservation and
Protection Act (R.A. No. 9147)

the research, collection and


utilization of biological and genetic
resources for purposes of applying
the knowledge derived there from
solely for commercial purposes."
Wildlife Resources Conservation and
Protection Act (R.A. No. 9147)
Section 14. Bioprospecting

When allowed: upon execution of an


undertaking by any proponent

Contents of the undertaking: the


propenents compliance with and
commitment to reasonable terms and
conditions that may be imposed by the
Secretary to protect biological diversity
Section 14 - How to get a permit:

1) AUTHORITY -- The Secretary or the authorized


representative shall require that prior informed consent
be obtained from:

a) concerned indigenous cultural communities,


b) local communities,
c) management board under Republic Act No. 7586 or
d) private individual or entity.

2) PRIOR INFORMED CONSENT -- indigenous peoples


shall be obtained in accordance with existing laws.

3) DISCLOSURE -- applicant shall disclose fully the intent


and scope of the bioprospecting activity in a language and
process understandable to the community.
4) REASONABLE TIME -- the action on the bioprospecting
proposal by concerned bodies shall be made within a
reasonable period.

5) SUBMISSION -- Upon submission of the complete


requirements, the Secretary shall act on the research
proposal within a reasonable period.

6) FOREIGN ENTITY/INDIVIDUAL -- If the applicant is a


foreign entity or individual, a local institution should be
actively involved in the research, collection and, whenever
applicable and appropriate in the technological development
of the products derived from the biological and genetic
resources.
Section 15. Scientific Researches on Wildlife.

Collection and utilization of biological resources for


scientific research and not for commercial
purposes shall be allowed upon:

1) Execution of an undertaking/agreement with and


2) Issuance of a gratuitous permit by the Secretary
or the authorized representative:
3) Provided, That prior clearance from concerned
bodies shall be secured before the issuance of
the gratuitous permit:
4) Provided, further, That the last paragraph of
Section 14 shall likewise apply.
E.O. No. 247

Prescribing Guidelines And Establishing A


Regulatory Framework For The Prospecting Of
Biological And Genetic Resources, They're By
Product And Derivatives, For Scientific And
Commercial Purposes; And For Other Purposes.
Deemed internationally as the first access to
genetic resources and benefit-sharing law
Was issued after Philippine ratification of the
Convention of Biological Diversity.
Criticisms
1) limits the scope of bioprospecting to sampling and collecting
materials instead of dealing with the entire subject matter,
which also includes exploration and documentation

2) Prior Informed Consent requirement requires only notice to


the affected community of the proposed bioprospecting
activity, but not dialogue regarding the same

3) Benefit-sharing scheme only characterized as to be made


"equitably" but no quantified ratio is identified, the benefits to
be gained by the affected communities is uncertain.

4) Imposes a difficult process for obtaining permits that has


hindered the research activities of Filipino scientists
Wildlife Resources Conservation
and Protection Act (R.A. No. 9147)
v. E.O. 247
R.A. No. 9147 tackled the bioprospecting concerns on EO No. 247:

1) provided a new definition of bioprospecting

2) affected communities through the Prior Informed Consent


requirements are entitled to bargain as to their share in the benefits
derived from the bioprospecting activity.

3) The Guidelines of the Wildlife Act laid down "detailed benefit-


sharing provisions."

4) Instead of obtaining Commercial or Academic Research Agreements


under E.O. No. 247, the Act now requires a Bioprospecting
Undertaking permit for commercial undertakings and a gratuitous
permit for scientific studies.