Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & GovernanceAreas of expertise

Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge

In our research we explore the intrinsic social value and cultural importance of traditional knowledge for local communities and indigenous peoples and the relationship existing between their knowledge, practices and ways of life and biodiversity. We work on the idea of biocultural diversity and on the rights necessary to protect and enhance it.

We investigate how international, national, regional and local environmental laws, regulations and customs can protect traditional knowledge from appropriation and misuse but also how traditional knowledge can be used as a mechanism to protect the environment in the broadest sense.

In particular our work is focused on the following topics: 

  • Evolution of the Access and Benefit Sharing regime
  • Material Culture and Heritage
  • Indigenous peoples and local communities
  • Participation in decision making / negotiations
  • TK in the context of land rights and tenure security vis à vis extractives of biological resources
  • The protection of traditional knowledge through customary law
  • The challenges posed by intellectual property rights
  • The relationship between traditional knowledge and science studies in the area of food security, health, climate change, agriculture, biodiversity conservation, natural resource management and fisheries
  • Biocultural rights of indigenous peoples and local communities as holders of traditional knowledge and as ecosystem stewards
  • Effective and equitable protected areas
  • Traditional knolwedge on marine biodiversity, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction
  • The relationship between biodiversity finance and human rights 

We are collaborating with many international partners on cutting-edge legal questions related to biodiversity and traditional knowledge. We are engaging a variety of CBD stakeholders in our research projects and regularly share our research findings at CBD meetings. Our partners include:

Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge publications

Biodiversity and Traditional Knolwedge related projects

Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge related consultancies