Call in the plant cops.

Author:Chauvin, Lucien O.
Position:Connection - Brief Article

If the Peruvian trade negotiators and politicians in Congress get their way, discussions on intellectual property rights would move beyond guaranteeing protection of music, books or software. During trade talks with the United States in Atlanta, Peru's chief negotiator, Pablo de la Flor, proposed property rights be extended to biodiversity, genetic resources and traditional indigenous knowledge.

De la Flor said it was necessary to ensure protection of property rights for manufactured goods--Peru is on the U.S. government's watch list for music, video, book and software piracy. But, as a biological powerhouse, Peru also has to protect its natural wealth. Peru is home to 84 of the world's 104 known ecosystems and 28 of the 32 identified climate zones, placing it among the top 15 most biologically diverse countries in the world, according to the United Nations.

At home, Congress has already beaten trade chiefs in the rush to protect biological wealth. A law put in force May 1 protects access to the country's biological diversity and collective indigenous...

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