Biopiracy is the stealing of biological materials or traditional knowledge. Such theft creates conflict between transnational corporations and indigenous people who are unable to challenge the rich companies' claims of ownership or the powerful intellectual property regimes. The source of the biological materials is the biological diversity, or biodiversity, located predominantly within the territories of developing nations in the South, which could benefit both economically and socially from this vast resource. Generations of indigenous people have been relying on and cultivating the properties of many plant and animal species contained within these diverse ecosystems for food and medicine. Both the species making up the diversity and the accumulated knowledge about them, however, have remained somewhat unknown to the West. Whereas historically it has been argued ...

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