Global governance: Promoting biodiversity and protecting indigenous communities against biopiracy
Many potentially useful medicines arise from developing countries’ biodiverse environments as well as from indigenous community knowledge. This bioprospecting has become an important strategy in drug discovery and development. However, global intellectual property rules have resulted in biopiracy, where public and private entities have exploited natural and ethnic resources without benefit sharing with indigenous peoples. Sovereign-based approaches have not led to adequate biodiversity management. There is tremendous opportunity for public-private partnerships to fill this void. Coupling pharmaceutical companies with indigenous peoples, civil society organizations, and country academics, long term, trust-based relationships can provide equitable benefits sharing and effective biodiversity management.
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