History is to be made at a global conference to save world biodiversity in Korea this week.The Nagoya Treaty on the fair use of genetic material will have its first Meeting of the Parties from 13 - 17 October, this being 51 states that have ratified the protocol, four of them from the Pacific islands.Most atmospheric is a visit to a temple around midnight on New Year's eve, when the temple's bell is rung repeatedly.Some of the most popular shrines and temples, such as Tokyo's Meiji Shrine, Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Taisha, Osaka's Sumiyoshi Taisha and Kamakura's Tsuruoka Hachimangu each attract more than a million visitors over the first few days of the new year.
These mysterious gokon quickly take on the image of a sort of regulated speed dating ritual that all Japanese people know.This also includes the traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources that are covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity and the benefits that come from their use.Palau is a hotspot for marine researchers, with one organisation currently collecting and sending samples of marine corals overseas in the hope of identifying a source for cancer treatment, this is one example Aitaro cites as relevant under the Nagoya Protocol."When we first adopted the Nagoya Protocol in 2010 I was skeptical that we would ever get the 50 parties to ratify it, which would bring it into force," said Aitaro."But now it has over 50 parties, this is a monumental occasion and Palau wants to be part of this, we are making efforts to come closer to ratifying this Protocol."The Cook Islands is also yet to ratify the Nagoya Protocol however the principals of the Protocol, Access and Benefits Sharing, are in action.Dr Graham Matheson, a medical researcher from the Cook Islands, observed the traditional application of plant-based extracts for treatment of bone fractures and other medical and therapeutic applications, by members of his community, friends and family.In 2003 he developed a proposal for the investigation and potential commercialisation of medical and therapeutic remedies and cosmetic applications based on those plant extracts and reached a benefit-sharing agreement with the recognised indigenous representative body—the Koutu Nui.