Loading...
Protecting the Ownership of Indigenous Knowledge in India
Now Watching
Protecting the Ownership of Indigenous Knowledge in India
Next Suggested Video
Community Enterprise In India
As herbal medicine becomes more and more popular, there is a growing rise in bio-piracy throughout India. The UN Development Program has hailed an agreement with the Indian Kani tribe that led to the commercialization of an herbal drug as a global model for benefit sharing.
Flash Player 9.0.115+ or HTML5 video support is required to play this video.
Loading...

Produced by UN in Action.

Find out more about "bio-piracy" in India.

 

Loading...

Share this video

Include start time Get current time
Include related videos, articles & actions
Loading...

Segment 1

VOICEOVER
Found deep in the forest of southern India, this wild plant holds the power to fight fatigue and to improve the human immune system. For centuries, the Kani tribe has kept this plant a secret. Recently, they were persuaded to share their knowledge in exchange for benefits. Dr. Pushpangadan is the scientist who found out about the properties of the medicinal plant while on a field survey.
DR. PUSHPANGADAN
At one point in time, my team got exhausted and we stood under the shade taking rest, but not these Kani boys. They said, "Sir, if you try these seeds, you'll get plenty of energy."
VOICEOVER
And it wasn't easy to convince the Kani men to reveal the source of the plant.
DR. PUSHPANGADAN
They said, "This is our secret, why do you want to know it?" I told them, "I tried it and it's very good. It will be even better for humanity. I want to share it with humanity." I made an agreement with the tribe that they would benefit.
VOICEOVER
After reaching an agreement with the Kani, the commercialization of the herbal drug, "Jeevani" took seven years of intensive experimentation headed by Dr. Pushpangadan. The drug is an energy booster that also relieves stress and protects the liver. P.K. Parameswaran is the manager of the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy.
P.K. PARAMESWARAN
It really is a wonder drug. No doubt at all.
VOICEOVER
The Kani, once a nomadic people living an isolated and impoverished life in the forest, now receive half of the royalties from the sales of Jeevani, and their lives are improving. They have put the money in a trust fund for the benefit and welfare of the tribe and they have purchased a jeep. There is now a road connecting them to the outside world. The Kani have also built a community center, and for the first time they have a place to meet and discuss problems. Rajendran is the secretary of the fund.
RAJENDRAN
We could not have accomplished all that without the income from these plants. We are all very happy.
VOICEOVER
The Kani tribe is only one of the more than five hundred tribal communities in India. As herbal medicine becomes popular, there is a growing interest in their knowledge of wild medicinal plants. There's also a rise in bio-piracy. Their knowledge is often taken without their permission. In New Delhi, the government has set up the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library. It documents the medicinal properties of native plants in five international languages, aiming to ensure that patents are granted to the proper parties. V.K. Gupta is the head of the Library.
V.K. GUPTA
Once we make it accessible to international patent offices, it will definitely prevent bio­piracy of the contents available in the library.
VOICEOVER
The library, the first of its kind in the world, is a 30­million page encyclopedia that comprises only traditional knowledge taken from ancient written texts, not oral knowledge.
V.K. GUPTA
We need another Traditional Knowledge Digital Library for undocumented traditional medicines.
VOICEOVER
The United Nations Development Program hailed the agreement with the Kani as a global model for benefit sharing. The 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by over one hundred and fifty countries, calls for the protection of the ownership of indigenous knowledge. The task of documenting thousands of years of traditional knowledge, and ensuring access and equity in the distribution of benefits is a daunting challenge. Patricia Chan and Alan Spector prepared this report for the United Nations.