The And Its Effects On Indigenous People

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“Bioprospecting is aimed to make humans rich, not to conserve forests” (Onaga 2001). Even though the Convention on Biological Diversity called for more benefit sharing, in most cases bioprospecting agreements cannot be enforced by source countries, communities, or the convention (Sandhu 3,4). This makes biopiracy common, since the country that makes a successful commercial product is likely to want to protect their intellectual property rights and neglect indigenous contributions (Cluis 1). A local curing plant that was once a free commodity to indigenous people, is now a marketed one that becomes unaffordable for the ones that discovered its value and used it before anyone else (Cluis 1). In 1969, a fungus containing ‘cyclosporin’ was collected in Norway and brought to Switzerland for screening (Dhillion et al. 492). It happened to be an immunosuppressant that could treat patients with organ transplantations. This discovery was before the Convention on Biological Diversity, so Norway got no credit. However, if they would have received a mere 2% royalty from the profit, they would have gained $24.3 million in 1997 alone, proving the incredible economic potential bioprospecting has (Dhillion et al. 492). Bioprospecting can also harm the environment, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has been criticized for devastating populations of “Maytenus Buchananii,” a native Kenyan species with medicinal uses (Dhillion et al. 492). Lack of legal framework and indigenous
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