Indigenous people have a historical link to those who inhabited a country or region at the time when people of different cultures or origins arrived. Traditionally, indigenous people have a special relationship with their ancestral environments. But their way of living has long been under threat. The land that indigenous people live on is home to over 80% of our planet’s biodiversity, but it continues to be appropriated and plundered due to bioprospecting or, as some call it, biopiracy. Bioprospecting is defined as “the exploration and information gathering of genetic and biochemical material to develop commercial products.” While innovation is welcomed in our society, bioprospecting often involves fundamental issues of injustice and unfairness. The injustice and unfairness present during bioprospecting led to the creation of the term “biopiracy,” which is when corporations, researchers, and scientists use sources from nature and traditional knowledge without consent and exploit the indigenous cultures from which they have obtained their information. When the term biopiracy was first coined in 1993 by Pat Mooney, president of the Rural Advancement Foundation International, he defined it as:

[T]he use of intellectual property systems to legitimize the exclusive ownership and control of biological resources and knowledge, without recognition, compensation or protection for contributions from indigenous and rural communities . . . .

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