|Recording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)|
|Part 1 Indigenous knowledge and development|
Recording IK presents a dilemma. Consider traditional medicines: If we don't record IK, it is lost forever. If we do record IK, the results can be used to the disadvantage of local peoplefor instance, if the drugs are patented and marketed by outside firms, without any payment or benefit to the community as the inventor or source of the information.
How can we help prevent our work on IK from being abused? Here are some guidelines:
- Include local people as authors or credit them when recording their practices. Always include names, dates, and places in your records and in any document describing IK of a specific person or community.
- Help local people document their information, to become authors themselves.
- Record and use IK in the context of applied development projects.
- Leave copies of the outputs of fieldwork (e.g., maps, seasonal calendars) with the community.
- Make the outcome of your study available to the community (e.g., translate reports, make copies of videos, establish village-based databases, etc.).
- Help community members (or communities) copyright documents and patent technologies which are unique and promising.
- Help communities organize to determine for themselves how they wish to respond to inquiries from researchers and commercial companies. They might be able to bargain with such outsiders to ensure that they receive some benefits from sharing their knowledge.
- Know and comply with the local laws on export of artifacts and germplasm.