Bioprospecting Advisory Commission; Established
Establishes a moratorium on bioprospecting and a temporary bioprospecting advisory commission to address issues related to bioprospecting, including equitable benefit sharing. Appropriates funds to enable the temporary bioprospecting advisory commission to develop a comprehensive plan for the bioprospecting on trust lands. Provides that the commission shall cease to exist on June 30, 2005.
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to bioprospecting.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. Article XII, section 4, of the state constitution provides that lands granted to the State by section 5(b) of the Admission Act and pursuant to article XVI, section 7, of the state constitution, excluding "available lands" as defined by section 203 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, shall be held by the State as a public trust for native Hawaiians and the general public. The biodiversity of these trust lands, including their mineral and marine resources, have been, and still are, culturally, economically, medicinally, spiritually and otherwise significant to the overall well being of native Hawaiians and the general public. The attributes of biodiversity, the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems, can provide medicines from natural products, new antibiotics, organisms that fight antibiotic resistant bacterial infections, and research models.
The legislature finds that Hawaii is experiencing a tremendous loss of biodiversity primarily due to conversion and degradation of natural habitats. If properly regulated, the potential economic benefit of the trust lands' biodiversity resources could create market-driven incentives to conserve biodiversity and the cultural, spiritual, and other meaningful aspects of native Hawaiian life. The legislature also finds that these benefits must be shared equitably among native Hawaiians and the general public.
The purpose of this Act is to place a moratorium on bioprospecting on trust lands until the temporary bioprospecting advisory commission comprehensively addresses the many issues related to bioprospecting, including equitable benefit sharing.
SECTION 2. For the purposes of this Act:
"Bioprospecting" means the collection, removal, purchase, sale, or use of biological and genetic resources of any organism, mineral, or other organic substance found within the ceded land trust for scientific research or commercial development.
"Commission" means the bioprospecting advisory commission established in this Act.
"Trust lands" means public lands as defined in section 171-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, including lands to which the University of Hawaii holds title, and ocean resources under state jurisdiction.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any provision in title 12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, or any other law to the contrary, upon the effective date of this Act, there is established a moratorium on bioprospecting on trust lands. The moratorium shall be in force for a period of three years from the effective date of this Act.
SECTION 4. (a) There is established the temporary bioprospecting advisory commission to develop a comprehensive plan for the bioprospecting on trust lands. The commission shall be placed within the office of Hawaiian affairs for administrative purposes. The commission shall be exempt from section 26-34, Hawaii Revised Statutes. The office of Hawaiian affairs shall provide staff and technical support for the commission.
(b) The commission shall be composed of nine members as follows:
(1) The chairperson of the board of trustees of the office of Hawaiian affairs or the chairperson's designee;
(2) The president of the University of Hawaii or the president's designee;
(3) The director of business, economic development, and tourism or the director's designee;
(4) The chairperson of the board of land and natural resources or the chairperson's designee; and
(5) Five members representing native Hawaiians who have a demonstrated background in bioprospecting, the preservation of biological and genetic resources, or scientific and legal procedures for the protection or commercialization of biological and genetic resources, and who shall be appointed by the governor from lists of five nominees submitted by the president of the senate, and a list of five nominees submitted by the speaker of the house of representatives, and one list of five nominees submitted by Hawaiian organizations.
The members shall elect one from among themselves to serve as chairperson of the commission.
(c) The commission shall:
(1) Identify and develop issues and policies related to bioprospecting on trust lands, including existing agreements with public entities, cultural and environmental concerns, economic development and biodiversity, biopreservation, and equitable sharing of benefits;
(2) Review the policies and laws of other jurisdictions; and
(3) Develop a comprehensive plan relating to bioprospecting that includes, but is not limited to, the issues and policies addressed in paragraph (c)(1).
(d) The commission shall perform its duties as follows:
(1) Members shall serve without compensation; provided that members may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties;
(2) A simple majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and all actions of the commission shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present; and
(3) The commission may hold public hearings as frequently as deemed necessary and feasible to receive testimony on issues relative to its activities.
(e) The commission shall submit an interim report of its findings and recommendations to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the governor no later than twenty days before the convening of the regular session of 2004. The commission shall, submit a final report of its findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation, to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the governor no later than twenty days before the convening of the regular session of 2005.
(f) The commission shall cease to exist on June 30, 2005.
SECTION 5. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.
SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ , or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2003-2004, to enable the temporary bioprospecting advisory commission to develop a comprehensive plan for bioprospecting on trust lands.
SECTION 7. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the office of Hawaiian affairs for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that section 4 of this Act shall take effect on July 1, 2003; and provided further that this Act shall be repealed on June 30, 2006.