The Academic Committee of BEA
4 September 2013Asia-Pacific

BioEconomy Academy launches in Bangkok

Law firm Rouse has teamed up with two organisations to open the BioEconomy Academy (BEA), an initiative aimed at boosting IP use and awareness in Thailand.

Rouse is working with Thailand’s Biodiversity-based Economy Development Office (BEDO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to kick off the academy.

By providing training and organising workshops for local communities throughout Thailand, the Bangkok-based academy plans to promote the use of IP and legal tools to help protect the country’s biological resources and traditional knowledge.

The use of Thailand’s biodiversity, a term used to describe the number, variety and variability of living organisms, is worth between Bt75 billion ($2.3 billion) and Bt300 billion ($9.3 billion) a year, according to the World Bank.

A permanent exhibition on Thai indigenous products and traditional knowledge and a biodiversity law library, housed within the academy, is hoped to raise awareness about the value of biodiversity and how community enterprises may protect it.

The academy will also cooperate with the World Intellectual Property Organization to create branding strategies for some Thai geographical indications.

Wutthipong Sommanas, acting executive director of BEDO, said: “We are delighted to be working with the United Nations Development Agency via the UNDP-GEP project and Rouse to launch the BioEconomy Academy, which resonates strongly with BEDO’s vision for a thriving and sustainable bio-economy underpinned by empowered local communities.”

Fabrice Mattei, executive and country manager at Rouse Thailand, said: “Rouse is proud to be working with BEDO and UNDP to empower local communities, helping them to enhance the value of their bio-resources and traditional knowledge. We are keen to give back to the communities and places in which we operate.

“Through the  BEA, we plan to empower Thai businesses and local communities by helping them to understand and exercise their IP rights,” he added.

“IP law and other environmental legal tools will help local communities identify and make the most of all opportunities. We hope that this will help Thai communities to prosper as the beneficiaries of their local resources and knowledge.”

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