Wednesday, June 24, 2009

GLT on Traditional Knowledge

Kabir Bavikatte attended the meeting of the Group of Technical and Legal Experts on Traditional Knowledge associated with Genetic Resources, in Hyderabad, India, on 16-19 June. To see Natural Justice’s submission to the GTL, follow this link: The final report contains a recommendation to include community protocols as a means to protect and promote communities’ TK and will be submitted to the 8th meeting of the Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing. For more information on the Working Group on ABS see

Vukuzenzele Meeting

Harry Jonas met with traditional healers at the Vukuzenzele medicinal plants nursery, in the K2C on 18 June, in partnership with the Biosphere Committee and the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency. At the meeting, the traditional healers raised a series of concerns, including the continued illegal collection and overharvesting of medicinal plants in the K2C that is endangering the supply of wild medicinal plants, the continued use of their traditional knowledge without their consent or acknowledgement and the fact that they remain unregistered healers, thus operating outside a regulatory framework. The next workshop is scheduled for the 9 July and will address these specific issues in more detail. See the website for the project overview.

Raika Biocultural Protocol

Kabir Bavikatte and Harry Jonas worked with LPPS ( to develop a biocultural protocol to address the Raika’s exclusion from the Kumbhalgarh forest that is threatening their livelihoods, culture and traditional knowledge. They worked over the week of 7-14 June with LPPs staff in Sadri, Rajasthan, at a series of community meetings as well as in drafting sessions with members of the LIFE Network and Drynet. The protocol is available on the website.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

May K2C visit

On 29-30 May, Kabir Bavikatte and Harry Jonas met the K2C Biosphere (Kruger 2 Canyons)Committee and Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency to jointly review a survey on a number of resources, including Marula and medicinal plants. As part of the visit, they visited the Vukuzenzele community medicinal plants centre (to follow) to discuss the challenges the traditional healers face and to look at how the (South African) Bioprospecting and Access and Benefit Sharing Regulations can assist them to protect their traditional knowledge and generate livelihoods. This visit was part of an ongoing effort to establish a legal protocol designed to both empower and protect communities within the K2C Biosphere Reserve, based on the expressed interests and established cultural framework of those living within the reserve.