November 29, 1994

Volume 1, #4 Pirating Medicinal Plants:

COPs... and Robbers... Transfer-Sourcing Indigenous Knowledge (with Indigenous Peoples' Biodiversity Network)

Pharmaceutical companies dont want to study rare plants. They want to test the most - commonly used species. The valuable medical plants are those with the longest track record in the most location. In a survey of almost 1.000 medical plants used around the world, most of the pharmacologically - (and commercially) interesting species are employed in more than one community, and often, in several countries.  This is great news for BioPirates, who can move benevolently from place to place in search of the best deal. It is bad news for the South, and for indigenous people, who's knowledge is increasingly usurped by Northern corporations. In this  paper, the Indigenous People Biodiversity Network and RAFI conclude that the Biodiversity Convention must be restructured into a strong multilateral framework facilitating South-South cooperation or the COPs will be overun by the robbers.

A 20 page document.

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