Earthscan and IDRC have recently co-published the book “Custodians of Biodiversity” edited by Manuel Ruiz and Ronnie Vernooy.
This interesting book outlines the policy mechanisms that are currently underway to protect local genetic resources and related traditional knowledge at both the national and international level.
The book also addresses the many obstacles that indigenous communities come up against with regards to conserving biodiversity, crop improvement and managing the natural resources that make up a great part of their livelihoods. In particular these themes are addressed within the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. (ITPGRFA). Interestingly, the authors broaden the policy and legal debates beyond the sphere of policy experts to include the knowledge-holders themselves – the farmers, the herders and fisherman in their respective local communities; the “custodians of biodiversity”.
The authors highlight that their experience in sharing access and benefits to genetic resources is shown to be crucial for the development of effective national and international agreements. The book presents and analyzes this experience, including case studies from China, Cuba, Honduras, Jordan, Nepal, Peru and Syria.
The book can be downloaded or viewed full text from the link provided above.
Photo credit: Earthscan/IDRC