Mexico City, October 22-23 “Hotel Ejecutivo” Viena No. 8. Col. Juárez

Privatization of Nature and Knowledge. Under the BIOS sign: technology, ethics, diversity and rights
Heinrich Boell Foundation
1. RATIONALE: The drafting and development of the political document on TRIPS “From Rio to Cancun, People's Rights Are Not Negotiable” at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Fifth Ministerial Conference gave us the opportunity to observe that there are a host of issues concerning intellectual property (IP) (such as for example theories of knowledge and the protection thereof, the manipulation of human genetic resources and the biosphere; intellectual property and gender) that are still not incorporated into the ongoing debates in an integral way. Furthermore, we consider the discussions on these issues the best context to integrate and amplify the IP debate on crops to related areas such as information access and the new bio-technologies. Taking into account that the results1 of the Doha Development Program Mandate and their relation to the Biological Diversity Treaty were not included in the agenda of the Ministerial meeting of the WTO in Cancun, and considering the negotiation deadlock, we believe that now is the right moment to restart the debate on these issues. With regard to the above mentioned issues we propose to convene an open gathering of experts to reflect the major problems of the region. The object will be to expand the discussions of issues to date hardly integrated into each other, especially assumptions concerning the concept of intellectual property rights related to all forms of life (plants, animals and human life). The conference can open a space for discussion for representatives from different fields of work who will analyze the issues at stake from diverse perspectives: the so called “red bio-technologies,” the right to information access, ethical-philosophical perspectives etc.. All of which question the concept of intellectual property rights. A conference will be the most adequate forum to permit international and regional experts (with 80% of Latin American participation) to discuss and explore different ways of integrating issues as apparently diverse as: genetically modified organisms, reproductive rights, cloning, indigenous rights, information access, etcetera. The common denominator of all these issues is the problem of privatization of nature and wisdom. In order to promote a wide open and integral discussion, the target group is composed by regional social and civil society organizations working on these issues and by specialists and academics from the entire world. We are aware that the universe of protagonists interested in the issues is far more

Reference: Article 27.3 b from TRIPS


diverse. Nevertheless, sectors such as multilateral organizations, governments and enterprises have been excluded form this meeting because the priority of this conference was to promote the approximation of civil society and social organization and experts in the field. During the conference there will be time and space to ask ourselves if there are realistic alternatives and ways to influence the process of bio-diversity privatization which generally is being presented as “irreversible.” 2. OBJETIVES
1. Review and analyze the to-date results of the different international negotiation processes

where Intellectual Property Rights over all forms of life are turning into a major instrument of control of Agriculture and of Peoples Rights. IPR play a key role in the ongoing privatization of health, agriculture and bio-diversity. 2. Place the debate on IPR in a more ample and integral framework of bio-politics and reach out to other protagonists /sectors working on topics to date scarcely integrated in discussions on TRIPS, such as: a. Knowledge theory and knowledge protection b. Human genetic resources and biosphere manipulation c. Intellectual property and gender 3. Contribute to: the North-South debate on IPR and identify alliances and counterparts for these discussions; the definition and implementation of different strategies of political action for the defense of peoples rights; the discussions on the individuality of life and the free access to information within a gender perspective.

3. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CONFERENCE: 1. Characteristics of the Conference:  Language: bilingual (Spanish and English) with simultaneous translation.  Duration: 2 days 2. Previous requirements for the seminary: Selected readings from of the different areas of discussion which will be available at the Boell Foundation website: www.boelllatinoamerica.org 4. CONFERENCE TIMETABLE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22   08:30 – 09:00 Participant registration 09:00 – 09:30 INTRODUCTION o Opening: Silke Helfrich Heinrich Boell Foundation Regional Office Mexico / Central America and the Caribbean and Thomas Fatheuer Heinrich Boell Foundation Regional Office Brazil / Cono Sur


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09:30 – 10:00 “Bridging the gaps: towards a sustainable Knowledge Society” Olga Drossou, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Germany 09:30 – 10:30 : Introduction of the IP issue, to promote a first discussion and describe briefly the characteristics of each one of the topics. Silvia Ribeiro (ETC Group, Mexico) 10:30 – 10:40 Coffee Break

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10:40 – 13:40 PANEL 1: TRIPS post Cancun. The deepening on life, health and alimentation control and manipulation. Overview of the issues at stake. o Steve Emmott (Green Party, European Parliament, Great Britain) o Silvia Rodríguez (GRAIN , Costa Rica) o Corinna Heineke (Free University of Berlin, Germany) o Facilitator: Silke Helfrich o Working Groups   13:30 – 15:00 Lunch Break

15:00 – 18:00 PANEL 2: Nature, knowledge and wisdom: types and concepts. Life knowledge and its commercial value. Focal Points: A key issue within the debate on IPR is the generation of knowledge. What forms of knowledge are there and how are they generated? What are the arguments behind the proclaimed need for the exclusive use of knowledge via IPR? o Aldo González (UNSOJO, Mexico) o Le’a Kanehe – Indigenous People’s Council on Biocolonialism o Carlos Vicente – GRAIN. Argentina. o Facilitator: Silvia Rodríguez (GRAIN) o Working Groups

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23  09:00 – 11:30 PANEL 3: Bio-ethics within a Social Justice Framework Focal Points: Mainstream Bio-ethics are dominated by utilitarian concepts of thought. In this panel we will discuss the missing issues such as social responsibility, social justice and equality which need to be integrated into the debates to reverse the imbalances between social and economic values. o Sujatha Jesudason (Center for Genetics and Society, USA) o Jurema Werneck, (CRIOLA, Brazil ) o Facilitator: Sangeeta Fager ( Heinrich Boell Foundation, Germany) o Working Groups  12:30 – 12:00 Coffee Break


 12:00 – 14:30 PANEL 4: Intellectual property and gender Focal Points: What are the specific impacts of the privatization of knowledge analyzed from a gender perspective with regard to agriculture, health and access to information? o Marsha T. Darling. Adelphi University. Estados Unidos. o Facilitator: Jorge Villareal Padilla (Heinrich Boell Foundation Regional Office Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Mexico ) o Working Groups   14:30 – 16:00 Lunch Break

16:00 – 18:30 PANEL 5: Open Access versus Privatization: three areas affected by intellectual property rights concepts: red biotechnology, agro- biotechnology and information technologies. Focal Points: IPR proponents argue that there is a need for privatization and protection of knowledge to ensure innovation and progress. The Panel Discussions will analyze the validity of these arguments from three perspectives, looking for alternatives, drawing from discussions within the open access/ open source movements. o Elizabeth Bravo (Acción Ecológica, Ecuador) o Beatriz Busaniche (Fundación Vía Libre Argentina, Argentina) o Facilitator: Ute Sprenger (Coordiantion Network on Biodiversity) o Working Groups  18:30 – 20:30 PLENARY o Readings of the position papers (systematized results from each the working groups). Political agenda: defense of bio-diversity, peoples rights, individuality of life, free information access within a gender perspective. o CLOSING SPEECH: Pat Roy Mooney (ETC Group-Canada) 21:00 DINNER



SOME LOGISTIC INDICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. First, our phone numbers: (dialing here in México in one public or private telephone) a. Heinrich Böll Foundation (from 9 am to 8 pm): 52-64-28-94 or 52-64-15-14 b. Silke’s handy phone: 044-55-13-96-39-01 c. Marina’s handy phone: 044-55-15-90-78-58

d. Jorge’s handy phone: 01-59-59-51-74-01 2. The Foundation address is: José Alvarado Street. No. 12. Col. Roma. Just between Medellín and Monterrey Street. The street is located in front of “Plaza Insurgentes” a very famous mall in the city. The subway stations that are closer are: Insurgentes station and Chilpancingo station. 3. We will assume the cost of your flight ticket, the people who bought it already by themselves, please bring us the payment receive. The name of our financial coordinator is Lenin Barrera (yes, his name is Lenin, as the famous Russian revolutionary!), please contact him on the conference to arrange all of this issues. 4. The hotel is already reserved for everyone. It name is “Hotel El Ejecutivo", located in Viena Street number 8. Col. Juárez (close to the corner of the avenues Insurgentes and Reforma). Telephone number is 55-66-64-22 (dialing here in México). We will assume the cost of your room. 5. Also, we will assume the cost of breakfast, meal and dinner since you’re arriving to your leaving. 6. Concerning your arrival at the airport. You can catch an official taxi inside the airport (the yellow ones), the cost will be 14 USD more less (airport-hotel or airport-FHB office). If the cost goes higher, please ask to an official or policeman for the authorized taxi station. We will assume the cost of your taxi. The official taxis are very secure and works 24 hours. 7. About the money. You can to draw money at the bank by EC Card or by Credit Card. Also you can to bring some cash. In Mexico the money exchange is 11.3 pesos per dollar and 13.8 pesos per euro. We recommend change cash in the airport when you arrive. 8. At the moment, the weather in Mexico City is cold; the temperature is between 10 to 18º C. We recommend to bring warm clothes. 9. A folder with the necessary documents will be given to you at the beginning of the conference. On our Website www.boell-latinoamerica.org you will find the complete program and some documents to prepare the debate. 10. If you have any logistic problems or any doubts, please contact us: a. Gabriela García, boell_oficina@prodigy.net.mx b. Marina Sandoval, Projects Coordinator boell_ediciones@prodigy.net.mx c. Jorge Villarreal, Programs Coordinator boell_programas@prodigy.net.mx

With kind regards, and hoping to see you soon!


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