On the Convention on Biological Diversity and Indigenous Knowledge

Excerpt from research paper: "...Over the millennia, Indigenous peoples have developed a close and unique connection with the lands and environments in which they live. They have established distinct systems of knowledge, innovation and practices relating to the uses and management of biological diversity on these lands and environments...Much of this knowledge forms an important contribution to research and development, particularly in areas such as pharmaceuticals, and agricultural and cosmetic products. In the context of these uses, Indigenous peoples claim that their rights as traditional holders and custodians of this knowledge are not adequately recognised or protected. They demand not only recognition and protection of this knowledge, but also the right to share equitably in benefits derived from the uses of this knowledge...Existing intellectual property laws offer limited scope for the recognition of Indigenous peoples' rights in biodiversity related knowledge and practices. Similarly, native title, heritage and environmental laws and policies also provide insufficient means for addressing Indigenous rights in biodiversity-related knowledge and practices...The challenge is to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples to their knowledge, while also conserving biological diversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity is one international instrument that has the potential to achieve both these objectives. Its primary objective is the conservation and management of biological diversity. It also provides opportunities for the protection of Indigenous knowledge practices and innovations related to biodiversity and for the introduction of measures for equitable sharing of benefits with traditional knowledge holders..."

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