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“Our libraries are dying”: Biopiracy and the social value of traditional medicinal knowledge in Ecuadorian Amazonia

Forssell, Ellen LU (2021) HEKK03 20202
Human Ecology
Abstract
In a global social divide between modern and traditional, medicine has fallen into two sides. Still, much of modern medicine exists because of traditional medicinal knowledge, yet the latter is rarely given any recognition. Despite increasing juridical attempts to protect indigenous groups and their traditional knowledge from biopiracy, the issue remains prevalent. Therefore, this thesis looks at biopiracy of traditional medicinal knowledge beyond existing laws, and into its social value. This paper explores the relationship, and potential effect of an increased social value of traditional medicinal knowledge in regard to achieving greater social and environmental justice when bioprospecting. When doing so, this paper focuses particularly... (More)
In a global social divide between modern and traditional, medicine has fallen into two sides. Still, much of modern medicine exists because of traditional medicinal knowledge, yet the latter is rarely given any recognition. Despite increasing juridical attempts to protect indigenous groups and their traditional knowledge from biopiracy, the issue remains prevalent. Therefore, this thesis looks at biopiracy of traditional medicinal knowledge beyond existing laws, and into its social value. This paper explores the relationship, and potential effect of an increased social value of traditional medicinal knowledge in regard to achieving greater social and environmental justice when bioprospecting. When doing so, this paper focuses particularly on indigenous communities in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Through deep semi-structured interviews of both indigenous and non-indigenous people across different professional fields, a diverse discussion is formed regarding the social value of traditional medicinal knowledge. The thesis presents the continued effects of age-old colonialism and injustice towards indigenous people, both socially and environmentally. It also reveals the complexity when people with two opposing worldviews are to collaborate, bringing forth the lack of, and pressing need for mutual communication and respect between bioprospectors and indigenous people to ensure the safekeeping of vital traditional knowledge for future generations. (Less)
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author
Forssell, Ellen LU
supervisor
organization
course
HEKK03 20202
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Biopiracy, Traditional Knowledge, Bioprospecting, Social Justice, Environmental Justice, Amazonia, Human Ecology
language
English
id
9035065
date added to LUP
2021-01-21 14:02:38
date last changed
2021-01-21 14:02:38
@misc{9035065,
  abstract     = {In a global social divide between modern and traditional, medicine has fallen into two sides. Still, much of modern medicine exists because of traditional medicinal knowledge, yet the latter is rarely given any recognition. Despite increasing juridical attempts to protect indigenous groups and their traditional knowledge from biopiracy, the issue remains prevalent. Therefore, this thesis looks at biopiracy of traditional medicinal knowledge beyond existing laws, and into its social value. This paper explores the relationship, and potential effect of an increased social value of traditional medicinal knowledge in regard to achieving greater social and environmental justice when bioprospecting. When doing so, this paper focuses particularly on indigenous communities in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Through deep semi-structured interviews of both indigenous and non-indigenous people across different professional fields, a diverse discussion is formed regarding the social value of traditional medicinal knowledge. The thesis presents the continued effects of age-old colonialism and injustice towards indigenous people, both socially and environmentally. It also reveals the complexity when people with two opposing worldviews are to collaborate, bringing forth the lack of, and pressing need for mutual communication and respect between bioprospectors and indigenous people to ensure the safekeeping of vital traditional knowledge for future generations.},
  author       = {Forssell, Ellen},
  keyword      = {Biopiracy,Traditional Knowledge,Bioprospecting,Social Justice,Environmental Justice,Amazonia,Human Ecology},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {“Our libraries are dying”: Biopiracy and the social value of traditional medicinal knowledge in Ecuadorian Amazonia},
  year         = {2021},
}