Thursday, March 23, 2006

Peasant Commons

Peasants Say No to ‘Selling' Traditional Knowledge
by Mario Osava

CURITIBA, Brazil, Mar 21 (IPS) - The international small farmers' and peasant movement Via Campesina is opposed to any payment for traditional knowledge, one of the formats proposed for sharing the benefits derived from biodiversity.

Sharing the profits arising from appropriating something that is "a product of collective accumulation, at the service of all people," so that "knowledge becomes merchandise that can be traded," is the beginning of exploitation and privatisation, the activist argued. This is in conflict with the "long-term vision" of the peasant movement, which is aimed at "preserving goods in common ownership," he added.

An example of the harm that this can bring about happened in Canada in the past, when industry bargained with indigenous peoples, offering them benefits in return for land and knowledge, and "they lost everything," Pederson said. . . .

{continues at link above, includes Greenpeace report about ocean decline in biodiversity (AKA: "life") . . .}


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