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Act 795 can safeguard biological resources from biopiracy

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 -- Enforcement of the Access to Biological Resources and Benefit Sharing Act 2017(Act 795) can ensure that the country benefits when biological resources found in the country are developed into products of value, said Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.

He said the enforcement could directly eradicate 'biopiracy', whereby the country's biological resources are taken and developed without permission and the country does not benefit from it.

"Malaysia is one of 12 countries in the world that is rich in mega-biodiversity resources. The enforcement of this act is important because this treasure has great potential for the development and creation of new products in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.

It includes medicines, supplements and cosmetic products," he said in a statement today.

At the same time, he said the enforcement of this act could also generate financial royalties, fees for research permits and patent issuance from the commercialisation of products obtained from biological sources.

The non-financial benefits that can be gained from the enforcement of this act include the sharing of research and development (R&D) findings; training through research exchanges and collaborative research; as well as employment opportunities for the community.

Earlier, Shamsul Anuar announced the enforcement of the act, effective Dec 18, when launching the Webinar Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and Knowledge of Tradition as well as the launch of the ABS User Handbook and the MyABS virtual portal. -- BERNAMA

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