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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian government now has a strong advisory board on the legal aspects of biodiversity development and commercialisation in the form of the Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity Law
(CEBLAW) based in the University of Malaya (UM)here.

CEBLAW was launched Thursday by Natural Resource and Environment Minister
Douglas Uggah Embas with some of the key objectives being to enhance the
nation's capacity on legal issues regarding biodiversity, biosafety and

According to Uggah, the centre would also assist the government by giving
legal inputs and advice on issues under Multilateral Environment Agreements, the
World Trade Organisation and other foras.

"CEBLAW, which is a joint initiative of my Ministry and UM would also
assist the government on legal issues pertaining to access and benefit sharing,
traditional knowledge and intellectual property.

"It is to be a centre of reference and also to house institutional memory
in the area for biodiversity law in the country. Another aspect would be a think
tank on biodiversity law and to churn out publications to enrich knowledge in
this specialised area," said Uggah during his address.

The centre also planned to assist the nation on issues pertaining to
biodiversity and biotechnology involving disputes and cases brought upon by the
government as well as training and running courses pertaining to biodiversity
law for students, government officials and interested parties.

Uggah added that the Centre would be working closely with other
environmental NGOs and all other stakeholders with regard to

Meanwhile, UM Vice-Chancellor Rafiah Salim said that with CEBLAW, UM would
have its particular niche to specialise in, thus focusing on becoming a
world class specialist regarding all aspects of biodiversity.