Challenges Related to Protection of Indigenous Resources Against Biopiracy

Challenges Related to Protection of Indigenous Resources Against Biopiracy

Zubair Ahmed Khan (University School of Law and Legal Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1835-9.ch006
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


The protection of indigenous/aboriginal resources is one of the important aspects of biodiversity justice. Many international treaties and conventions legitimised natural rights and privileges of tribal societies and indigenous communities. But some interventionist practices like a conflict of interest in bioprospecting agreement and biopiracy have become major concerns for prospering third-world countries. Strategic application of prior-informed consent and benefit-sharing procedures will definitely meet socio-environmental sustainability in the country. The responsibility and liability of state biodiversity authority and local biodiversity committee at village level need to be fixed to maintain transparency and accountability. Conservation of ethnobiological resources is also important in the view of increasing patent infringement. That's why issues of patentability must include complete disclosure of specification claims even in the case foreign natural resources.
Chapter Preview


Biodiversity is interpreted as an inexhaustible variety in diverse living creatures. These resources are organic that exists for a very long time. Indigenous communities assume a valuable part in developing and securing natural (aboriginal) assets. We accumulated traditional knowledge for many hundred years in our country. Traditional Knowledge (TK) remains an indispensable piece of ethnic identification and only mode of survival in provincial regions. Evolution, proliferation, and usage of TK took many eras and consistent engagement of indigenous communities. It is closely associated with biological assets accessible to native societies. Though a substantial portion of TK is well documented. However, its translation and comprehension matter become tedious due to the presence of aboriginal content utilised, therefore resulting in patent accord to the individuals who get maximum profit regardless of those not possessing TK in reality. The indigenous people associated with TK are usually disappointed because of the absence of the shared benefits or advantages which are endowed upon them. Misuse of contemporary frameworks of TK is an aftereffect of commercialisation procedure where productivity is more important than sustainability. Thus, TK of the indigenous communities untenably and unjustly misused (Tinker, 2014).

It is backed with ignorance of rights of indigenous people in regards to their security or recompense by contemporary legal frameworks which may result in loss of TK. Many scholars disclose that significant numbers of native and aboriginal peoples possessing TK are not in support of commercialising these indigenous resources, including TK for pecuniary and other substantial profits. The pervasiveness of morals inherent in their cultural life influences them to part with TK and related insight with anyone without anticipating benefits, commercial service from corporate entities. That is why these native societies stay underprivileged and corporate enterprises keep on commercially exploiting and collecting affluent resources. Aside from this predicament which has emerged with the discord of moral and social standards between indigenous people and the overwhelming corporate entities in relation to its insight, legitimacy and significance of fundamental ethics and social codes are also came into purview of deliberation. The indigenous people and societies are usually not recognised for TK and their consistent approach to safeguarding these natural resources. The pertinent deliberation, which was not elaborated before that needs to be discussed as to why these indigenous persons remain anonymous and valueless in the context of TK? Furthermore, the legitimacy of bioprospecting and commercialisation of biological resources achieved through the usage of TK without any endorsement, acknowledgement and recognition of these indigenous communities. The pharmaceutical organisations put significant emphasis on biodiversity since biological resources are crucial for the creation and advancement of many medicines (Dutfield, 2016).

Biological assets have a significant capability for creating chemical products. In spite of the decrease in the utilisation of these biological items for creation of medicinal substances, scholars view biological assets like the precious elements of pharmaceutical companies even today because of having different varieties. Numerous primary farming products are evolved and flourished by active human engagement through proper variation and adjustment. The advancement of these farming products has developed particular TK to a specific category. Incorporated entities have progressively endeavoured to gather such indigenous information and legitimise their importance by getting appropriate IP law related to patents (Krishnamurthy, 2003).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: