Presentation on theme: "Biopiracy on Zambian Medicinal Plants"— Presentation transcript:
1 Biopiracy on Zambian Medicinal Plants PAPER PRESENTED AT THE FIRST ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING WORKSHOP FOR AFRICA, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, 19 – 24 NOVEMBER 2006byLovemore Simwanda
2 Structure of the Presentation BackgroundName and Type of Genetic MaterialActors involvedHow the Genetic Resource is Used Type/Kind of ABS AgreementsLessons learntAgreed Benefits in the Agreements Benefits Realised to DateDirect Contribution to Poverty AlleviationChanges needed at the local, national and /or International LevelsConclusions
3 BackgroundZambia human capital formation that is necessary to generate sustained economic growth is impeded not only by lack of adequate social sector expenditures but by high incidence of HIV/AIDSSixteen percent of the adult population aged 15 years and 49 years inclusive is stricken by this disease and related opportunistic infectionsConsequently this impedes the country's capacity to develop by shortening human productivity and life expectancyZambia has abandant medicinal plants in its major natural miombo vegetation
4 Background Ct’dZambian traditional medicine plays an important and vital role in most parts of the country given the fact that adequate modern health facilities are lacking.General ailments are treated locally at household level and most households depend on traditonal medicine knowledge available within their reachThe traditional knowledge on the use of medicinal plants has been orally passed on through the several generations.
5 Name and Type of Genetic Material Several medicinal plant genetic materials (actual names withheld)Medicinal Plant Biological/Gentic are under threat by external collectors operations who come under a number of ventures and at times digise themselves through legitiimate social institutions.
6 Actors involvedTraditional Healers Practioners Association of Zambia (THPAZ)Ministry of HealthNational Aids Council of Zambia (NAC)Forestry DepartmentEnvironmental Conservation Association of Zambia (ECAZ)
7 How the Genetic Resource is Used The Plant Genetic Resources are used for medicinal purposess; especially those plant genetic material that have been associated with blood boasting and immunity enhancement, curing of HIV/AIDSThe Biopiracy agents tend to visit the suspected patients being treated with the same plant genetic materialunsuspecting patient or gardian give out the information without any reservations
8 Type/Kind of ABS Agreements There are no proper agreements in place with the foreign collectorsforeign collectors come into the country as people working on humanitarian programmes e.g addressing Health, hunger, unemployment through the promotion of agriculture activities, poverty alleviation etc.Foreign collectors initially develop some local relationships with some local traditional healersLater become members of the local Traditional Healers Practitioners Association of ZambiaThrough paying a membership fee, a certificate is issued
9 Lessons learntLoss of control of biological/genetic resources and accompanying TKBiopiracy denies the country as well as the local communities fair and equitable benefits resulting from the commercialisations of their biological resources and TKLack of respect and recognition of the contribution of local communities in selection or identifying genetic potential of biological resources.Privatization also Leads to monopolistic control of natural resources and deny community access to most critical elements of human survival such as health and food.
10 Lessons Learnt Ct’dLack of legal framework on ABS in line with the CBD and ITPGRFALack of domestication of international treaties such as CBD and ITPGRFA etc.Fragmented institutions such as govt ministries regulating ABSPoorly organised structures on local communitiesPoverty in most local African communities which may impact on the way they may grant access to genetic resourcesGovt. interference in ABSLack of priority on the legal reform on ABSLack of resources and political willLack of public awareness and education on the actual and potential value of biodiversity.
11 Agreed Benefits in the Agreements There is none so far.Only through the membership fees paid to THPAZ of $150.0 per year or $250.0 per five years and a membership certificate is issued.Benefits Realised to Date – NoneDirect Contribution to Poverty Alleviation – None
12 Changes needed at the local, national and /or International Levels Need to control access to biological/genetic resources and Traditional Knowledge through the introduction of appropriate legislation and establishment of institutional structures.Need to increase public appreciation, education and awareness of the value and importance of biodiversity, and public involvement in its conservation and sustainable use.Need to take audit /document the biological/genetic resources and Indigenous knowledge.
13 ConclusionBiopiracy if not stopped, will continue to erode the biological/genetic resources of the developing countries as well as denying them fair and equitable benefits derived from their losses.There is need to strengthen the policy, institutional and legal frameworks in the developing countries particularly those in Southern Africa which to date have no national legislation on ABS.ABS legal regime should be flexible and tailored made to a particular country’s needs.There is need to urgently formulate ABS legislation for Zambia in line with the CBD and ITPGRFA.Use of the Capacity Building Training Module on Policy and Law for Biological/Genetic Resources