Monday, August 01, 2011

Indigenous people in Namibia help draft biopiracy law

Namibia has kicked off a series of meetings with rural and indigenous communities to feed into the country's first bill on access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge. The bill will prevent exploitation of indigenous resources, such as devil's claw (Harpagophytum sp.) a plant used by the San people to treat rheumatism and arthritis, and hoodia (Hoodia gordonii) which is used for suppressing hunger. "Communities will benefit if their associated traditional knowledge is involved, or if they are the direct legal providers of the resources in question," said du Plessis. Namibia was one of the main architects behind the 2010 Nagoya Protocol, which secured access and benefit sharing (ABS) rights for communities under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Full article available here.

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