Yet another way of protecting a country’s biodiversity assets which are uniquely endemic to certain geographical locations in the country is via the use of geographical indications. A “geographical indication” refers to the use of a place name to describe a product; such a name usually identifies both the product’s geographical origin and its characteristics. Products such as Scotch Whisky, Champagne and Roquefort Cheese fall in this category.
Biological assets, which are distinguishable in terms of quality and/or traits and which are known as originating from a specific geographical region, could be protected through appropriate national legislations on geographical appellations. Coupled with trademark issues, lack of protection of geographical indications could mislead the customer. Where applicable, developing countries should bring geographical indications in their national legislation in order to protect their bio-assets.