Fair Trade of Bacteria for the Population

Marketing endemic bacteria genes in order to pay the local populations while also protecting the biodiversity


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MX Mexico
Web http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110803/full/476019a.html

In development

About the project Edit

This is a commercial development project that uses good genes from bacteria and micro-organisms growing endemically in a watershed. The profits from patents will be shared with the local communities in order to encourage them to conserve the water in basins and respect the balance of the ecosystem.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

This is a pilot project, which is testing the application of the Mexico Convention on Biological Diversity signed in Nagoya in October of 2010. The protocol aims at commercializing patents for some of the gene bacterias, which have an application value in a number of bio-products. The agreement regulates scientist's access to genetic resources from nature and advocates for an equitable redistribution of the income generated within the local communities.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The business model aims to put an end to the overexploitation of ground water by local populations. The promise of redistributable financial gain can allow people to talk about "biotechnological revolution for communities". This promise is still theoretical at this stage.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The Nagoya protocol will only take effect 90 days after the signing of a 50th country. As of October 2011, 41 States had ratified the agreement, including Mexico and the European Union.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Despite the ban on fishing in the Quatro Cienegas reserve in northern Mexico, as well as other forms of human activity (gathering wood, exploiting wax plants, etc.) disrupt the biodiversity of rivers and ponds.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

Many "cleantech" applications in the field of bioproducts can include organic compounds, especially for bioremediation (decontamination of polluted environments using living organisms). Other applications included non-existent forms of phosphorus in their natural state, to create plants that would not need fertilizer to grow. This type of gene should be the first patent to be filed in the region.

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