World Intellectual Property Organization

Millenium Development Goal 7

Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Target 7.A:

Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources

Target 7.B:

Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss

7.1 Proportion of land area covered by forest
7.2 CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
7.3 Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
7.4 Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
7.5 Proportion of total water resources used
7.6 Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
7.7 Proportion of species threatened with extinction

Target 7.C:

Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation

7.8 Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
7.9 Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility

Target 7.D:

By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers

7.10 Proportion of urban population living in slums


What WIPO is Doing on MDG 7

Environmentally sound technologies can play a significant role in addressing a variety of environmental concerns, such as those relating to climate change, the loss of biodiversity, desertification and hazardous wastes, to name a few. The IP system, as a mechanism to promote innovation and creativity and to facilitate the transfer and dissemination of technology, potentially contributes to the search for solutions to a number of global challenges in the environmental field.

Over recent years, WIPO has enhanced its work on the interface between IP and the environment and to this effect has strengthened its cooperation with relevant IGOs. In 2008, a policy forum on Patent Landscaping and Transfer of Technology under Multilateral Environmental Agreements was organized to foster a better understanding of the types of IP issues that may arise in the context of the implementation of MEAs. In July 2009, a major WIPO international conference on IP and Public Policy Issues was partly devoted to green technology, including adaptation and mitigation technologies and the transfer of green technologies. In the field of climate change, WIPO promotes policy dialogue on IP and climate change and provides IP expertise in the negotiations of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  To this end, it co-organized side events at COP 14 and 15 and developed policy materials, in particular an issues paper on IP and Climate Change1.  WIPO continues to be involved in a number of initiatives and UN Inter-agency activities in preparation for COP 16 in Cancun. Tools are also under development to improve access to relevant technologies through WIPO’s patent information services: a first step has been a Technology Focus on alternative energy.  This service provides access to published international patent applications related to selected alternative energy technologies, i.e. solar, wind, wave and tidal power, hydrogen production and storage, fuel cells as well as carbon capture and storage.  In the context of Development Agenda, one of the implementing projects will deliver a number of patent landscape reports in the field of environmental technologies, which will be identified in consultation with the relevant IGOs.

WIPO has also cooperated closely with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in particular on issues relating to disclosure requirements and on technology transfer under the CBD. This has included, for example, the preparation of a Technical Study on Disclosure Requirements in Patent Systems Related to Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge at the invitation of the CBD COP, prepared by the WIPO IGC with inputs from many WIPO Member States2, and the joint paper prepared with the CBD and UNCTAD on “The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Technology Transfer in the Context of the Convention on Biological Diversity”3.

WIPO will be an active contributor to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – UNCSD (Rio+20 Conference, May 2012) and preparatory process.


1 See: A special issue of the WIPO Magazine in 2009 also focused on this issue.

2 WIPO publication 786(E)

3 Available at:

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