The Appropriation of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge: Recent Australian Developments

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In this paper I look at the global question of the appropriation of indigenous ecological knowledge. First I will attempt to define some of the terms in this field of debate, and explain some of the basic issues, with a brief look at the role of intellectual property laws. Following this I will outline some of the major international developments which may assist the resolution of some of the issues. I then turn to look at Australia’s response, focussing in particular on the role of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Native Title Act 1993. Particular mention is made of the High Court decision in State of Western Australia v Ward and whether the Native Title Act 1993 still has a role to play in the protection of indigenous ecological knowledge. Finally, I discuss briefly the alternative of a sui generis system as a potential solution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-50
Number of pages22
JournalMacquarie Journal of International and Comparative Environmental Law
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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