The European Parliament has agreed to rules that would prevent EU companies, particularly in the pharmaceuticals sector, from exploiting the natural resources of the world's indigenous communities by recognising their 'intellectual property rights' over local biodiversity.
Environment ministers from almost 200 countries on Friday (29 October) adopted historic targets to halve loss of natural habitats and dramatically increase nature reserves to 17% of the world's land area by 2020 from less than 10% today.
Committing political will and a small fraction of the world's financial resources to protecting biodiversity would bring indispensable long-term benefits, argues Stephen Hopper, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London.
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