Cali is hosting a United Nations meeting this week where 500 delegates will try to hash out a deal to ensure the world’s biological resources are shared equally.
The event is the last formal meeting before the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit in October, which will be the deadline for an agreement six years in the making.
“Cali is the right place and the right opportunity to offer the children of the world a gift,” said Ahmed Djoghlaf, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
“The time for talk is over, the time for action is now.”
The issue under discussion is known as “access and benefit-sharing,” which refers to exactly who should have access to the Earth’s genetic resources – including plant, animal and microorganisms – and who will benefit from their use.
Despite the discussion already having taken years, there is real hope for a breakthrough this week.
“A new spirit of cooperation has emerged and there is a growing appreciation that this regime represents a win-win situation for all countries,” said Fernando Casas of Colombia and Timothy Hodges of Canada, co-chairs of the negotiating committee.