Indigenous knowledge of biodiversity is important to the lives of millions, not least through the provision of food and medicine. But according to Alejandro Argumendo, director of Peru's Quechua-Aymara Association for Sustainable Communities International, intellectual property laws foster the privatisation of such knowledge, rather than its protection.
In this interview, he says that the definitions and uses of traditional knowledge are affecting indigenous rights. International frameworks, he says, are not able to establish or protect the rights of those who are the very source of traditional knowledge.
He highlights the importance of conserving both biodiversity and the traditional systems of knowledge transfer and exploitation that are central to its sustainable exploitation.