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Disagreements over digitized genetic data could hamper or even derail CBD negotiations

A standoff over biopiracy is threatening to derail a global agreement to halt the loss of nature, with developing countries demanding they are paid for drug discoveries and other commercial products based on their biodiversity.

During negotiations in Geneva for a Paris-style agreement on nature, which ended this week, the use of genetic data in a digital form – known as digital sequence information (DSI) – arose as a clear point of division, with African countries insisting any deal must include a financial mechanism to compensate them for discoveries using digital forms of their biodiversity.

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