Biology Reference
In-Depth Information
Table 4.6 Good Practice, Criticisms and Challenges of Chiapas Case
Good Practice
Innovative process of provid-
ing information to/obtain-
ing consent from local
Insufficient Maya involvement
Operation in volatile, poverty-
stricken, militarized area
Effort to collect and publish
knowledge in order to pre-
vent future patents
Royalties unsatisfactory for pro-
vision of traditional knowl-
edge and plant resources
Serious regulatory uncertainty,
particularly regarding
domestic legislation and
requirements for obtaining
prior informed consent
Partnership with local research
General CBD challenge that
commodification is alleg-
edly not compatible with
sacredness of traditional
Establishment of non-profit
organization to administer
indigenous community's
share of benefits
4.6 The San Hoodia Case (Southern Africa)
4.6.1 The First Hoodia Benefit-Sharing Agreement: CSIR
This case is about the San peoples of southern Africa (also known as Bushmen)
and a succulent plant called Hoodia . Botanically, the Hoodia is a stapeliad belong-
ing to the Apocynaceae family (Glasl 2009 : 302). The San's use of Hoodia dates
back centuries. The stems and the sap of this succulent plant, growing freely in the
Kalahari desert, were a substitute for food and water during hunting expeditions.
This caught the interest of a research organization which realized that the plant's
appetite-suppressant qualities could be highly useful in products for the anti-obe-
sity market.
The San are generally regarded as having lived longer continuously in one loca-
tion than any other population in history (Stephenson 2003 : 21; Lee et al. 2002 ).
At about the time European settlers were landing at the Cape in South Africa, the
San occupied an area stretching from the Congo Zambezi watershed in Central
Africa to the Cape, and numbered about 300,000 (Lee 1976 : 5). The San today
number approximately 100,000, and live mainly in Botswana, Namibia and South
Africa, with scatterings of populations in Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia. 20 After
centuries of genocide and marginalization, leading to loss of land and
20 San NGOs estimate the populations as follows: Botswana, 55,000; Namibia, 35,000; South
Africa, 8,500; Angola, 3,000; Zimbabwe and Zambia, unknown (KFO 2006 ).
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