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Contextualising 'Fair' and 'Equitable': the San's Reflections on the Hoodia Benefit-Sharing Agreement.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Local Environment : The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability
Issue number4
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)423-436
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) demands equitable benefit-sharing from the use of biodiversity, but it falls short of defining fairness or equity. The Hoodia, a traditional medicinal plant of the San, has been patented without their prior consent, but belatedly a benefit-sharing agreement has been signed. This paper investigates the views and perceptions of the San communities on what embodies fairness and equity in relation to this agreement. This case study underlines a serious weakness of the CBD, as it demonstrates how significant inequities in knowledge and power between indigenous peoples and companies can result in definitions that are predominantly shaped by the latter.

Bibliographic note

The paper was informed by Vermeylen's first fieldwork in Southern Africa and submitted during second year of PhD. The paper was followed up by a related empirical paper on the San's views on the commodification of their ecological knowledge which was submitted in the final year of PhD. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences