No Hunting! Biodiversity, indigenous rights, and scientific poaching

TitleNo Hunting! Biodiversity, indigenous rights, and scientific poaching
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsKloppenburg, J
JournalCultural Survival Quarterly Magazine
Date PublishedSeptember 1991
Keywordsagriculture; biodiversity; ethnobotany; ethnomedicine; indigenous knowledge; indigenous plants; intellectual property rights; plant hunting

The policies concerning the use of indigenous plants for commercial uses have historically protected those with the most to gain. In most cases, it is the pharmaceutical companies which benefit from the profits. Often the knowledge shared from indigenous people is essential to the research of these plants. Scientists are calling this the "golden age of plant hunting" because of the growth of pharmaceutical companies and their research on indigenous medicines. There are many proposals to protect the rights of indigenous people and land from which the plants come. The Kuna Indians of Panama have established their own rules about how research is to be conducted on their lands. These rules are to keep the Kuna Indians from being exploited. These methods and others could possibly help to avoid situations such as that in Madagasgar with the development of vinblastine and vincristine from the rosy periwinkle.


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