Valuing Local Knowledge
Indigenous People And Intellectual Property Rights
Experts from around the world examine an innovative proposal to promote both cultural survival and biological conservation: treating cultural and indigenous knowledge as a form of intellectual property. Currently the focus of a heated debate among indigenous peoples, human rights advocates, crop breeders, pharmaceutical companies, conservationists, social scientists, and lawyers, the proposal would allow impoverished people in biologically rich areas to realize an economic return from resources under their care. Monetary compensation could both validate their knowledge and provide them with an equitable reward for sharing it, thereby compensating biological stewardship and encouraging conservation.
Valuing Local Knowledge presents case studies of programs that recognize indigenous rights, and brings direct experience to bear on the international debate over intellectual property, conservation, and indigenous rights.