Biocultural Community Protocols: Dialogues on the Space Within

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Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte
Daniel Robinson
Maria Julia Oliva


The international legal landscape on rights of indigenous peoples is gathering momentum around the protection of their traditional knowledge and genetic resources. This international momentum is simultaneously engendering complementary trajectories in national law and policy, with terms like 'access and benefit sharing' and 'sui generis' protection of traditional knowledge. While these laws attempt to identify rights-holders, define procedures for engagement and outline parameters for what is balanced, fair and equitable they also need to be reconciled with the role and relationship of communities in respect to their lands and knowledge. Genuine engagement with communities has been difficult with lawmakers and businesses understanding community rights to their resources and knowledge from a purely economic point of view. This article identifies lessons from the best practice approach of Ethical BioTrade using biocultural community protocols as a way to deal with this challenge.

Article Details

Peer Reviewed
Author Biographies

Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte, United Nations University

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Post-Doctoral Fellow, The United Nations University, Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, 53-70, Jingumae 5-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan, Tel: +81 3 5467 1212,

Daniel Robinson, University of New South Wales

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Environmental Studies, The University of New South Wales, Australia, Tel: +61 2 93859809

Maria Julia Oliva, Union for Ethical BioTrade

Senior Coordinator for Policy and Technical Support, Union for Ethical BioTrade, De Ruyterkade 6 1013 AA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Tel: + 31 20 223 4567


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