PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Biological diversity is expressed on three levels: in the ecosystems, the species and the genes present in a determined region. Biodiversity includes not only all species of land and water-based plants, animals and micro-organisms, and the genetic variability within each species, but also ecosystems, habitats and microhabitats. In addition, biodiversity includes not only wild components, but also genetic varieties, species and ecosystems resulting from human activities, and that are expressed in a multitude of agro-ecosystems and domesticated and cultivated organisms and varieties. This implies that biodiversity conservation not only includes protection of wild species in reserves and other protected natural areas, but also the maintenance of ecological processes and genetic richness in a specific territory, including agricultural areas and other man-made ecosystems of origin. The Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by Ecuador in 1993 has important economic and political implications, in that it recognises the sovereign right of each country to exploit its biological resources in a way fitting its own environmental policies, and the right of developing countries to improved access to biotechnological techniques and knowledge, and scientific and technical co-operation. The Convention emphasises the fact that each country should develop the proper legislation on the benefits accruing from the utilisation of its genetic resources given that, as well as the rights to the resource in its physical entity, there is also the right to the intellectual input involved. In addition, the Convention promotes the fair distribution of benefits generated by biological diversity, and urges the local communities' criterion be included, their prior consent to the extraction of genetic resources be obtained, and an agreement between parties be established about the payment of royalties for the use of resources and associated knowledge.
Suárez, L. (1999). PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION. Acta Hortic. 497, 355-366
Ecuador, valuation, access, genetic resources, policies