Protecting Traditional Knowledge Related to Biological Resources: Is Scientific Research Going to Become More Bureaucratized?

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2015 Jun 22;5(10):a020974. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a020974.


For the past several decades, there has been a world debate on the need for protecting traditional knowledge. A global treaty appears to be a distant reality. Of more immediate concern are the steps taken by the global community to protect access to biological resources in the name of protecting traditional knowledge. The Indian experience with implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity has created substantial legal uncertainty in collaborative scientific research between Indians and foreigners apart from bureaucratizing the entire process of scientific research, especially with regard to filing of applications for intellectual property rights. The issue therefore is whether the world needs to better balance the needs of the scientific community with the rights of those who have access to traditional knowledge.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biodiversity
  • Biological Products / supply & distribution*
  • Biomedical Research / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration*
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Disclosure
  • Ethics, Research
  • Global Health*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / ethics
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Cooperation
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Politics


  • Biological Products