Chapter 18

Access to Genetic Resources andProtection of Traditional Knowledge inIndigenous Territories1

Grethel Aguilar

The purpose of this chapter is to set out a legal framework for access to genetic resources and the protection of related traditional knowledge (TK) among indigenous peoples, with the aim of achieving a fair sharing of the benefits obtained from their commercial utilization.

Biodiversity has assumed growing importance not only in the natural sciences but also in the economic and social sphere. For instance, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, 1993), foods, fibres, ornamental plants and raw material of biological origin make up practically half the global economy. This means that biological resources are a form ...

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