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Biopiracy on Zambian Medicinal Plants PAPER PRESENTED AT THE FIRST ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING WORKSHOP FOR AFRICA, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, 19 – 24 NOVEMBER.

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Presentation on theme: "Biopiracy on Zambian Medicinal Plants PAPER PRESENTED AT THE FIRST ACCESS AND BENEFIT SHARING WORKSHOP FOR AFRICA, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, 19 – 24 NOVEMBER."— 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 2006 by Lovemore Simwanda

2 Structure of the Presentation BackgroundBackground Name and Type of Genetic MaterialName and Type of Genetic Material Actors involvedActors involved How the Genetic Resource is UsedHow the Genetic Resource is Used Type/Kind of ABS AgreementsType/Kind of ABS Agreements Lessons learntLessons learnt Agreed Benefits in the AgreementsAgreed Benefits in the Agreements Benefits Realised to DateBenefits Realised to Date Direct Contribution to Poverty AlleviationDirect Contribution to Poverty Alleviation Changes needed at the local, national and /or International LevelsChanges needed at the local, national and /or International Levels ConclusionsConclusions

3 Background Zambia 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/AIDSZambia 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/AIDS Sixteen percent of the adult population aged 15 years and 49 years inclusive is stricken by this disease and related opportunistic infectionsSixteen percent of the adult population aged 15 years and 49 years inclusive is stricken by this disease and related opportunistic infections Consequently this impedes the country's capacity to develop by shortening human productivity and life expectancyConsequently this impedes the country's capacity to develop by shortening human productivity and life expectancy Zambia has abandant medicinal plants in its major natural miombo vegetationZambia has abandant medicinal plants in its major natural miombo vegetation

4 Background Ctd Zambian traditional medicine plays an important and vital role in most parts of the country given the fact that adequate modern health facilities are lacking.Zambian 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 reachGeneral ailments are treated locally at household level and most households depend on traditonal medicine knowledge available within their reach The traditional knowledge on the use of medicinal plants has been orally passed on through the several generations.The 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)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.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 involved Traditional Healers Practioners Association of Zambia (THPAZ)Traditional Healers Practioners Association of Zambia (THPAZ) Ministry of HealthMinistry of Health National Aids Council of Zambia (NAC)National Aids Council of Zambia (NAC) Forestry DepartmentForestry Department Environmental Conservation Association of Zambia (ECAZ)Environmental Conservation Association of Zambia (ECAZ)

7 How the Genetic Resource is Used 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 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/AIDS The Biopiracy agents tend to visit the suspected patients being treated with the same plant genetic materialThe Biopiracy agents tend to visit the suspected patients being treated with the same plant genetic material unsuspecting patient or gardian give out the information without any reservationsunsuspecting 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 collectorsThere are no proper agreements in place with the foreign collectors foreign 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 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 healersForeign collectors initially develop some local relationships with some local traditional healers Later become members of the local Traditional Healers Practitioners Association of ZambiaLater become members of the local Traditional Healers Practitioners Association of Zambia Through paying a membership fee, a certificate is issuedThrough paying a membership fee, a certificate is issued

9 Lessons learnt Loss of control of biological/genetic resources and accompanying TKLoss of control of biological/genetic resources and accompanying TK Biopiracy denies the country as well as the local communities fair and equitable benefits resulting from the commercialisations of their biological resources and TKBiopiracy denies the country as well as the local communities fair and equitable benefits resulting from the commercialisations of their biological resources and TK Lack of respect and recognition of the contribution of local communities in selection or identifying genetic potential of biological resources.Lack 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.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 Ctd Lack of legal framework on ABS in line with the CBD and ITPGRFALack of legal framework on ABS in line with the CBD and ITPGRFA Lack of domestication of international treaties such as CBD and ITPGRFA etc.Lack of domestication of international treaties such as CBD and ITPGRFA etc. Fragmented institutions such as govt ministries regulating ABSFragmented institutions such as govt ministries regulating ABS Poorly organised structures on local communitiesPoorly organised structures on local communities Poverty in most local African communities which may impact on the way they may grant access to genetic resourcesPoverty in most local African communities which may impact on the way they may grant access to genetic resources Govt. interference in ABSGovt. interference in ABS Lack of priority on the legal reform on ABSLack of priority on the legal reform on ABS Lack of resources and political willLack of resources and political will Lack of public awareness and education on the actual and potential value of biodiversity.Lack of public awareness and education on the actual and potential value of biodiversity.

11 Agreed Benefits in the Agreements Agreed Benefits in the Agreements There is none so far.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.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 – NoneBenefits Realised to Date – None Direct Contribution to Poverty Alleviation – 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 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 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.Need to take audit /document the biological/genetic resources and Indigenous knowledge.

13 Conclusion Biopiracy 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.Biopiracy 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.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 countrys needs.ABS legal regime should be flexible and tailored made to a particular countrys needs. There is need to urgently formulate ABS legislation for Zambia in line with the CBD and ITPGRFA.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 ResourcesUse of the Capacity Building Training Module on Policy and Law for Biological/Genetic Resources

14 END OF PRESENTATION THANK YOU! THANK YOU!


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