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A case of biopiracy: inequitable use of Kibira National Park snakes by Wivine Ntamubano Faculty of Sciences, University of Burundi.

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Presentation on theme: "A case of biopiracy: inequitable use of Kibira National Park snakes by Wivine Ntamubano Faculty of Sciences, University of Burundi."— Presentation transcript:

1 A case of biopiracy: inequitable use of Kibira National Park snakes by Wivine Ntamubano Faculty of Sciences, University of Burundi

2 1.The country: Burundi Burundi is a small landlocked country (27834km 2) It is bordered by the (DRC) to the west, Rwanda in the north and Tanzania to the east and south. Burundi is densely populated with a population of approximately 7 million inhabitants. Despite this ground exiguity, Burundi has protected areas which contain a considerable wealth of biodiversity: –the Kibira National Park(KNP), –the Ruvubu National Park(RNP), –the Rusizi Natural Reserve (RNR), – the Reserve of Bururi, –Rwihinda Lake managed Nature Reserve....

3 The country: Population:Three main communities (tribes) –Hutu: traditionnary agriculturers –Tustsi: traditionnaly pastoralist –Twa : hunters and – the livelihood of Batwa depends much on the basic natural resources.They use to live in foestst

4 2. Name and type of genetic resources Kibira snakes –(Dendroaspis jamesoni, Naja melanoleuca, Boedon fulginosus, Bitis gabonica, Bitis nasicornis, Dasypeltis scaber, Phylotamnus sp, Atheris nitchei) –In Burundi the snake is a very frightening animal to the extent is hated everywhere,thats this weaponthat the pauchers use to get them from the population –Some of the snakes have medicinal values already known by the Batwa community, knowledge freely given to biopirates i

5 Kibira Forest The National park of Kibira is the largest afromontane forest of Burundi which covers 40000ha. Kibira constitutes a water tank of Burundi

6 Kibira National park Kibira is contiguous with Nyungwe forest in Rwanda. This forest contains several species of plants formations and from the primary forest to the formations of altitude met at the top of the Congo- Nile Divide.. Endemic species of birds, mammals and other species of animals

7 3. Actors involved: 1. Local community: The Batwa are autochtone people who live in and around the Kibira National Park. They know the forest and its biodiversity, thus know the places where these snakes hide and hold the knowledge on how to capture them alive and in full safety. The livelihood of the Batwa traditionally depends much on the basic natural resources. 2. Institut National pour lEnvironnement et la Conservation de la Nature (INECN): a national institution in charge of protected areas, managing the CITES Convention and CBD national focal agency.

8 Actors involved 3. Local NGO: AHEB is an environmental and herpetological association. Its main objective is to protect reptiles by the mean of ex situ conservation. Despite their good will to conserve,they take this opportunity to sell some of them abroad. 4. Trade Agencies: The national company Serpents des Grands Lacsas well as European and American agencies: Reptilworld, Ferme Tropicale and Herpetofauna

9 4.How the genetic resource is used Local populations use the snakes in traditional medicine and for ornemental purposes.When exported, they are sold to zoos, and museums for exhibition as well as to laboratories and individuals. Note that in normal circumstances, burundians do not consume snake meat.

10 5. Type/kind of ABS agreement There is no ABS agreement. INECN grants a licence of exploitation to the NGO, which agrees to pay a tax of 20% on the sales. AHEB pays to the Batwa people 10% on the sales.

11 6. Agreed Benefits in the agreement No real agreement on ABS exists between the local community, the government represented by INECN and those who want access to the snake resources

12 7. Benefits realized to date The trade of the reptiles started in Given the multiple uses of this genetic resource, it is difficult to know the actual profits accumulated for these years. AHEB claims that it has not get any benefit in the last few years, giving the reason that the transport of snakes was too long and unsafe since the direct flights to europe were suspended.

13 8. Direct contribution to poverty alleviation The Batwa people obtain 10 % on the sales. They can use this sum to provide for their needs (clothes, food). Although this activity brings some income to this population, the Batwa remain very poor and stripped. The key fields of development for this community (education, employment, health ) are not satisfied.

14 9. Lessons learned to date This example highlights how the management of genetic resources is conducted in Burundi. Access to genetic resources is easy, but the government, the local communities dont receive equitable benefits from the use of those resources. Communities have no knowledge on benefit- sharing emanating from access to genetic resources. Thus no initiatives at the grassroot level are geared towards preventing biopiracy. Burundi has already set up a National Strategy and Action Plan as regards to biological Diversity but did not begin up to now carried capacity building activities to implement the strategy.

15 Lessons learned The concept of equitable benefit-sharing remains a new concept for the local populations and holder of traditional knowledge. It is also new for decision makers, who do not yet understand the political and commercial importance of Genetic Resources. Therefore, there is a need for capacity building at all levels (individual and institutional, local and national) ABS regulations and ABS good management to use the benefits of this management in the struggle against poverty. Bad governance: INECN knows the existence of ABS regimes, the lack of legislation is not a reason to permit biopiracy.

16 10. What changes would have made the difference - A national ABS framework. -The sensitizing of the public at all levels on the potential value of the commercial exploitation of the genetic resources and on their potential and durable value. -The definition of the mechanisms of access and benefit- sharing of the resources - A specific legislation on the genetic resources based on the concept of access to the resources and sharing of the advantages or an adaptation of the legislation which already exists to the current context or text of CBD implementation. The promotion and the protection of Intellectual Property Rights on the genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

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