Protection of biocultural property of indigenous communities: A comparative overview of 9 countries around the globe

Tue, 24 Aug 2021 17:55 PM
Author: Fundación Nativo; Thomson Reuters Foundation; et. al.
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For so many generations indigenous communities have been unaware of the legal mechanisms they can use to demand the recognition and protection of their rights, especially their biocultural property, which refers to the knowledge and practices of indigenous people and their biological resources, from the genetic varieties of crops and medicine they develop to the crafts they design.

Through TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation's global pro bono service, Fundación Nativo analyzed the legal protections available in Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, the United States and Venezuela, thanks to the contributions made by Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados; LegalVision; DPLAW – Pontes, Pinto & Pignaneli Advogados Associados; Ferre Abogados; McCarthy Tétrault LLP¸ Baker & McKenzie LLP; Hogan Lovells; Herbert Smith Freehills and Lega Abogados.

This report contains a comparative overview of the legislation on the protection of biocultural property in these countries and seeks to raise awareness as well as inform indigenous leaders about the ways in which they can protect the biocultural property of their communities and provide information and inspiration to organize themselves and advocate for new legislation that specifically protects these rights.