IN - DEPTH

 

Discussion on Intellectual Property Rights


07. May 2004

DO THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE IN HERBAL
MEDICINE BELONG TO THE PASTROLISTS OR HUNTER-GATHERER GROUPS?
 
I THINK IT SHOULD BELONG TO THE HUNTER-GATHERERS AS IT RELATES TO TREES-
THEIR NATURAL FRIENDS...WHAT ABOUT YOU?
 

p.k.sena
kanyinke sena < kanyinke@yahoo.com >
 
 

Dear Sena:

I think this discussion has potential to develop into a exciting debate. But I suggest that you give
a context that situates the question so that responses can benefit from this information. However, a quick one for me is that the issue of intellectual property rights to traditional knowledge in herbal medicine cannot be simply dealt with through a declaration that they belong to hunter-gatherer groups or pastoralist groups. Human communities, irrespective of their social, cultural, economic lifestyles have over millennia discovered and developed knowledge in herbal medicines. The issue is then what herbs were available in their environments? I believe there are those that hunter-gatherers dicovered and those that pastoralists discovered as they lived and developed in their environments. I also know and believe that there are those that traditionally agricultural communities found, discovered and developed. I also beleive that societies in the North did the same. The problem as I see it today is the injustice of Nothern researchers and transnational phamaceutical companies robbing communities in the South (hunter-gathers and pastoralist groups included!) of their intellectual property rights through use of an emerging body of international laws conceived, bred, controlled and propagated by powerful states led of course by the USA.

James Nduko
Program Officer
Kenya Human Rights Commission
Valley Arcade, Gitanga Road
P. O. Box 410 79 - 00100 GPO
Nairobi, Kenya.
J Nduko < jnduko@khrc.or.ke >

--------------------------------------------
 

Dear All,

As per my opinion, it is true to say that IPR belongs to indigenous persons whether hunter-gatherers or pastoralists. Other communities are international, criminal robbers who have robbed our ideas, knowledge, and technology so as to enrich them.

They are opportunists and any policy made locally or internationally should protect the rights of the
indigenous communities.

Also measures should be taken to curb and arrest the trend of robbing IPR.

We the Africans should stop being manipulated by the western funds so as to sell our intellectual property rights without our knowledge. It due to our illiteracy and ignorance that such happens. I do support any law put in place so as to address, redress, compensate the indigenous people rights taken for granted.

For more information be in touch. And may God prosecute them.

Best Regards

Kiplangat Cheruiyot
Abode Fide Human Rights Monitor
Coordinator Centre for Endangered Languages
Nakuru
peter cheruiyot < pkiplangat2002@yahoo.com >

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