Globalization has been a double-edge sword for Indigenous Peoples. It is no surprise that the Traditional Knowledge of these original communities has been appropriated and usurped by multinational pharmaceutical and other large corporations over the years.
Proyecto ACCESO has also long worked to empower the indigenous peoples of Latin America, by developing indigenous legal defense programs and creating community dispute resolution through a legal clinic in Temuco, through training of the Mapuche unit at the Defensoria Penal Publica in Araucania, and a communitarian law project that resulted in a new law in Bolivia to expand traditional justice mechanisms including those from the Guarani, Aymara, and Quechua.
Traditional Knowledge refers to the conservation of native sciences, medicine, folklore, artistry and biological diversity within an indigenous culture. This project comprises of multiple components: archiving, publicizing, and promoting the various successes in this emerging arena. All of these are aimed to empower indigenous people and educate the general public. This project is an engine to create an international convention on traditional knowledge, something that the international community has yet to meaningfully address.
We must find new mechanisms to protect the Intellectual Property rights of Indigenous Peoples and ensure that they can meaningfully participate in the global marketplace. ACCESO Indígena is looking for partners to explore ways in which to do this.