BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, ACCESS, INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
Evidence of the accelerating depletion of natural resources and other environmental andsocial problems has resulted in a global consensus on the need to see development in termsof long term sustainability. This interest in sustainable development has been accompaniedby an interest in important related issues such as the conservation of natural resources.indigenous knowledge systems (cultural diversity), intellectual property rights etc
For thousands of years. information on plant genetic resources has been collected freely allover the world, However. the growth of biotechnologies which use genetic resources thusraising their commercial value in combination with the loss of biological diversity worldwidehad led to a narrowing of the free exchange principle, Thus far, this narrowing hasbeen largely one sided. For many years, the developed countries have rcalised enormousbenefits from their access to third world genetic materials. specially in the case of cropplants,
This paper explores the relationship between cultural diversity and biological diversity andhow indigenous knowledge technologies derived from that can he used to manage biologicalresources on a sustainahle manner. It also explores the reasons and underlying causes for thecultural and environmental changes which include biodiversity and indigenous knowledgesystems vital to sustainability to lose at an incredible rate.
The paper also discusses the threats placed on biodiversity. traditional indigenousknowledge, the agreements and conventions which encourage countries to consider waysand means for the effective protection and use of traditional knowledge, innovations andpractices of indigenous people and other local communities as well as fair equitahle sharingof benefits arising from such knowledge, innovations and practices.