I  U  P  A  C

News & Notices

Organizations & People

Standing Committees



..By Year
..By Division
..Other Committees




Links of Interest

Search the Site

Home Page

Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 68, No.12, pp. 2325-2332, 1996


Preservation and utilization of natural biodiversity in context of search for economically valuable medicinal biota
(Technical Report)

> Abstract
> Background
> Issues
> Recommendations
> Appendices
  1. The Manila Declaration
  2. The Melaka Accord

The Manila Declaration
concerning Ethical Utilization of Biological Resources

Developed at the Seventh Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants, Spices and other Natural Products (ASOMPS VII) which was held in Manila, Philippines, from 2-7 February 1992 and was attended by 283 scientists from 37 countries.

Given that: -

1. the maintenance of biological and cultural diversity is of global concern

2. developing countries are major centers of biological and cultural diversity

3. there is increased interest in biological material with medicinal and/or other economic value

4. indigenous peoples frequently possess knowledge that provides a key to natural products of economic value

Recognizing that:

5. all national governments have sovereignty over their biological resources

6. current practices of exploitation of biological resources and indigenous knowledge are frequently inequitable, favoring technologically advanced organizations and/or developed countries, to the disadvantage of both conservation and development in the country or region of origin

7. there is need for further investment in training and technology in developing countries and for equitable partnerships with developed countries in order to obtain new products from biological material

8. there has been insufficient acknowledgments of essential role that indigenous knowledge (i.e., intellectual property) plays in identifying important natural products.

Thus, it is recommended that:

9. national governments, with advice from appropriate professional organizations within the region, develop adequate legislation to exercise control over the collection and export of biological materials

10. as a high priority, governments, international agencies, multinational corporations and academic institutions, through training, laboratory construction and technology transfer, should support the development of human and material resources evaluation of indigenous materials for conservation and for managed development

11. for all collecting, the authorizing agreement(s) should include provision for any subsequent commercial development that may eventually arise

12. internationally recognized professional societies develop a code of ethics that facilitates the formation of equitable partnerships in the development of new products from biological material (see Appendix 1 )

13. mandatory royalty or licence agreements be established to ensure fair and equitable distribution of benefits to the region of origin

14. supply agreements should only be made by the appropriate country organization and not with individuals in that country

15. in order to avoid over-exploitation of promising species, the country organization should adopt methods to protect the identity and provenance of its biological material

16. specific regulations be established to ensure that the collection and export of biological material is adequately monitored and controlled in the interests of the country supplying the material. These should include the requirements that:

16.1 collections are made together with local counterparts appointed by the country organizations involved

16.2 adequately annotated, preserved voucher specimens of biological material are lodged in appropriate national institutions

16.3 sufficient funds are provided by the external organization to cover the support costs which may be incurred

16.4 if there is a threat of destructive harvesting provision must be made for sustainable harvesting or development of alternative supplies

16.5 the traditional knowledge of local participants contributing to development of new natural products must be recognized as significant intellectual property



The reference document was developed at the Botany 2000 Herbarium Curation workshop held in Perth,

Western Australia, 15-19 October 1990. It was modified in April 1992 to cover other biological material.

The foreign biological sample collector should:

1. arrange to work with local scientist(s) and institute(s)

2. respect regulations of the country visited, for example, by entering on a research/collecting visitor visa, not a tourist visa, and by observing regulations for export of biological specimens, quarantine, CITES, etc.

3. obtain official permission for all collections in National Parks or protected areas

4. ascertain whether items used in scientific work and which are difficult to obtain in the country of collection can be contributed

5. when applying for a travel/study grant, include equal travel expenses for local counterparts and an amount to cover the cost of processing museum specimens or other costs of the visit to the host institute

6. leave a complete set of adequately labeled duplicates with the institute before departing the country

7. ensure that types of species described as a result of the research are deposited in the National Museum or Herbarium of the country of origin

8. inform the institute in the country of origin where duplicate specimens are to be deposited

9. not exploit the natural resources of the host country by removing high value biological products through collecting wild specimens, for example plants with potential horticultural, medicinal, cultural or other economic value, without prior permission

10. obtain a list of rare and endangered species of the country visited, and do not collect these species without permission

11. collect no more specimens than is strictly necessary; for live plant specimens, collect cuttings or seeds rather than uprooting whole plants; for marine specimens, wherever possible, collect subsections rather than whole organisms

12. leave copies of photographs/slides for the host institute(s)

13. inform the host institute/appropriate organization of new localities of rare/endangered species found

14. remember to send copies of research reports to collaborator(s) and host institution(s)

15. acknowledge collaborator(s) and host institute(s) in research reports and publications

16. collect identified reference voucher specimens for all biological products to be exported



ASOMPS VII recognizes that there is considerable variation in the levels of technical expertise for the development of new natural products in the region. There is also recognition that every effort should be made to reduce dependency by developing countries on technology held by developed countries. However in the sort-term efficient development of new natural products may involve sharing of biological resources and technology between developed countries and the country of origin.

In order to avoid contracts which do not achieve equity in partnerships between developed countries and the country of origin, there are suggested minimum standards which should be used:

1. the amount of material collected for initial screening should not normally exceed 100-500 grams (dry weight) unless specific permission is obtained

2. payment should include all handling expenses and infrastructure costs

3. where screening of extracts is carried out with the aid of a partner organization in the developed world, a minimum of 60% of any income arising from the supply of extract to commercial organizations should be returned to the appropriate country organization

4. the country organization should receive a minimum of 51 % of any royalties arising from external collaboration that results in marketable products. Since a fair royalty would be of the order of 3-5%, the appropriate country organization should receive a minimum royalty of 1.5-2.5%.

5. the country organization should not sign agreements that give indefinite exclusive rights to any external party. Exclusivity should be limited to no more than a two-year period

6. complete evaluation of results of any screening should be reported to the supply country organization within a reasonable specified period

7. if there is a threat of destructive harvesting, costs of sustainable harvesting or development of alternative supplies must be borne by the external organization

8. the contribution of research participants should be recognized through coauthorship on publications

9. initial preparation of extracts and screening should be done in the country of origin and assistance to develop this expertise should be provided wherever practicable


Page last modified 22 May 2000.
Copyright © 2000 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Questions or comments about IUPAC, please contact, the Secretariat.
Questions regarding the website, please contact Web Help.