Biodiversity, Ownership, and Indigenous Knowledge: Exploring Legal Frameworks for Community, Farmers and Intellectual Property Rights in Africa. Ecological Economics. Vol. 53, No. 4 (June, 2005): 493-506.


Drafted between 1996 and 2000, the African Union’s Model Legislation for the Protection of Indigenous Knowledge attempts to redress the contradictory obligation so the international instruments affecting biodiversity, namely the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity, by establishing a new philosophical justification for farmers’, breeders’, and community rights. By approaching the question of property rights and farmers’ rights from the perspective of the community, the African Model Law is able to establish a legal framework for access to biodiversity, benefit sharing, and intellectual property that satisfies the needs and requirements of African states by balancing the monopoly rights of breeders again the rights of indigenous communities.

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