Traditional knowledge documentation: Preventing or promoting biopiracy

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One of the issues currently being addressed concerning the management of biological resources is the protection of indigenous peoples' resources and traditional knowledge. The reason is the existing legal frameworks especially with regards to intellectual property (IPR) system do not provide adequate protection for the indigenous peoples' resources and knowledge. While the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has introduced an obligation to seek prior informed consent for the use of any traditional knowledge and ensure benefit-sharing, the existing IPR system does not have the requirement for benefit-sharing. The IPR system was also not designed for the protection of traditional knowledge in its original form (i.e. in its oral and non-documentation existence). Such features make the knowledge inaccessible for inspection by the patent officers and therefore facilitate biopiracy when patents were granted on innovations that were based on existing knowledge. As a consequence, traditional knowledge documentation (TKD) project has been accepted as an interim tool to overcome the shortcomings of the existing legal framework. This paper evaluates the objectives, form and required framework for TKD. As a case study, this paper specifically looks at the TKD projects in India and identifies the issues and lessons that can be learnt from the Indian experience. As a comparison, similar efforts by Malaysia's Sarawak Biodiversity Centre are also studied. This paper will demonstrate the weaknesses of the existing TKD projects that could eventually lead to promotion instead of prevention of biopiracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume20
Issue numberSPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Fingerprint

documentation
intellectual property
patent
resources
biodiversity
Malaysia
obligation
promotion
India
innovation
Documentation
Traditional Knowledge
Biopiracy
Traditional knowledge
management
knowledge
experience
Resources
Intellectual Property
Intellectual property

Keywords

  • Biological resources
  • Biopiracy
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Intellectual property
  • Traditional knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "One of the issues currently being addressed concerning the management of biological resources is the protection of indigenous peoples' resources and traditional knowledge. The reason is the existing legal frameworks especially with regards to intellectual property (IPR) system do not provide adequate protection for the indigenous peoples' resources and knowledge. While the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has introduced an obligation to seek prior informed consent for the use of any traditional knowledge and ensure benefit-sharing, the existing IPR system does not have the requirement for benefit-sharing. The IPR system was also not designed for the protection of traditional knowledge in its original form (i.e. in its oral and non-documentation existence). Such features make the knowledge inaccessible for inspection by the patent officers and therefore facilitate biopiracy when patents were granted on innovations that were based on existing knowledge. As a consequence, traditional knowledge documentation (TKD) project has been accepted as an interim tool to overcome the shortcomings of the existing legal framework. This paper evaluates the objectives, form and required framework for TKD. As a case study, this paper specifically looks at the TKD projects in India and identifies the issues and lessons that can be learnt from the Indian experience. As a comparison, similar efforts by Malaysia's Sarawak Biodiversity Centre are also studied. This paper will demonstrate the weaknesses of the existing TKD projects that could eventually lead to promotion instead of prevention of biopiracy.",
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