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Title: Ownership and Sustainability Issues of Botanical Medicines 
Author: Shingu, Gamaniel K.
Date: 2005
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Citation: Shingu GK. 2005. Ownership and sustainability issues of botanical medicines. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 3:17-24.
Abstract: The World Health Organization estimates that more than 70% of the world’s population, especially those who reside in the tropics, rely almost exclusively on plants as a primary source of medicines. Over the last decades an awareness has grown of the pharmacological potential of medicinal plants, and a potentially bright future for drugs developed from natural products. At the same time, the use of plants in medical practice contributes to the growing threat to species and ecosystem preservation. This paper expands the narrow view of plants as sources for pharmaceutical development to discuss botanical medicine from an economic and human development perspective. I consider strategies that can ensure that the benefits that accrue from utilization of indigenous plant knowledge become positive forces for human development. Issues of sustainability are discussed vis à vis poverty, protection of ecosystems, and the potential for future use and longterm viability of medicinal species. Issues of ownership also are presented in the context of intellectual property rights, with particular reference to the inadequacy of patent rights to protect indigenous knowledge.
ISSN: 1547-3465
Keywords: ethnobotany, ownership, sustainable development, intellectual property rights, patents, indigenous knowledge, medicinal plants, traditional medicine, herbal medicines, threatened species, Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa, forest resources, quality control, product quality standards, rural education and training, databases, biotechnology, research and development, rural poverty

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