Siva Thambisetty attended negotiations at the second intergovernmental conference on a legally binding instrument on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction over March 25- April 5th 2019 at the UN. As an Adviser to the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, she worked closely with the delegations of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) on what will become a new international instrument under the UN Conventional on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). She helped prepare knowledge based positions on marine genetic resources, the protection of digital sequence information, jurisdiction issues on the high seas under UNCLOS, the role of IP in technology transfer and capacity building and how that relates to the acuity of environmental and climate change impacts on small island developing states. The third Intergovernmental conference will take place in Aug 2019, and the fourth in 2020. Her work is supported by an internal LSE KEI grant and follows an interdisciplinary project on the Nagoya Protocol funded by a Horizon 2020 grant.
Dr Thambisetty says “Its a steep learning curve for an academic to be involved in any multilateral negotiations as you quickly realise that its more about ‘positioning’ than positions. If the world can get it together, the new instrument presents a real chance to do right by those at the thin end of the wedge of the climate change crisis. Fair and equitable intellectual property norms are a big part of that.”