Understanding the relationship between indigenous (traditional) knowledge systems (IKS), and access to genetic resources and benefits sharing (ABS)

  • C Percy
  • M Isaac
  • C Pamela
Keywords: Countries, communities, indigenous, products, resources, ABS, IKS


Indigenous local communities have coexisted with their natural biological resources for millennia. This has entailed that the local people use a great deal of conservation methods to ensure that this coexistence does indeed exist to this present date. Invariably, as this happened, a huge wealth of sophisticated indigenous (traditional) knowledge systems (IKS) has been building up and concurrently been passed on from generation to generation in a manner that modern science is yet to understand
fully, later on been able to measure or quantify properly. With the advancement of modern scientific methods and technology, most of these indigenous biological resources are being developed into commercial products, largely without benefiting the very communities that have sustainably managed them over many generations. This paper examines current regulatory frameworks for facilitating beneficiation by local indigenous people from any plant products, raw or value added, that make lucrative, modern and high paying markets, whether in local markets in the cities or export markets. It also highlights the dilemma of dealing with placing ownership of IKS when it comes to dealing with
sharing benefits on resources that are naturally cross-frontier sensu stricto and sensu lato. The marama bean (Tylosema esculentum) will be used as a typical example to highlight some of these issues.

Keywords: Countries, communities, indigenous, products, resources, ABS, IKS


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5315