Fri, 11 Apr 2003

Law on biodiversity needed

JAKARTA: A legislation on biodiversity is urgently needed to prevent genetically modified agricultural products from entering Indonesia unchecked, an official said.

"We have to be cautious of imported genetically modified agricultural products. We don't want them to destroy our biodiversity," Deputy State Minister for the Environment Liana Bratasida said on Thursday.

She said that, as biotechnology activities were on the rise, regulations were needed to control them so as to protect the environment.

The office of the state minister for the environment is currently preparing a bill on genetic resources, which is needed to protect patented Indonesian biodiversity.

"Foreigners often take and use our biodiversity for their own interests. They patent them and sell them at our expense," she said. -- Antara