Bioprospecting Case Studies

  • Africa ICBG Case

    This benefit sharing plan has acted as the basis from which the benefit-sharing strategy of the African ICBG has developed, and provides a useful case study for policy makers and practitioners alike.
  • Cameroon and Nigeria Case

    Case Study 1

    Examines the US National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s development of the anti-HIV compound michellamine B which is derived from Ancistrocladus korupensis. A. korupensis is a rainforest liana which is locally endemic, but spans the border between Cameroon and Nigeria. Original collections were conducted within the Korup National Park in Cameroon. The case study analyzes the process benefits provided by the NCI’s investment in a domestication and cultivation program for A. korupensis within Cameroon. The case study also analyzes the legal issues surrounding the negotiations between the NCI, the Government of Cameroon, and other domestic stakeholders which spurred the inclusion of access and benefit sharing provisions within Forestry Law No. 94/01 and the implementing decrees of 1995.This case study was based on field work already conducted for WWF-I, in collaboration with WWF-Cameroon, but involving additional field study in Cameroon to update available information.
    Case Study 2

    Focuses on Prunus africana , a rainforest tree species the bark of which has some limited traditional medicinal use, but is in greatest demand in the phytomedical markets in Europe for the treatment of prostate hyperplasia. Bark is unsustainably harvested in Cameroon, as in other parts of Africa, although systems have been devised to achieve sustainable harvests. P. africana has a long history of commercial use within the same region of Cameroon as the A. korupensis, but has resulted in a very different benefit sharing profile. This case study compares the types of benefits generated from two very different commercial sectors: the pharmaceutical and the phytomedical/herbal medicine industries, including examining the way in which each creates incentives for conservation. This case study was based on field work already conducted within Cameroon, but required some additional field study and limited involvement of researchers within Cameroon to update information on P.africana.

  • Hoodia Case

    This presentation is on SAN/CSIR Hoodia Benefit Sharing Model that was shared in a Symposium in Switzerland.
    The other webarticle is on the use of Traditional Knowledge of Hoodia Species in the Development of an Appetite Suppressant

  • Kani's Case
    Kani is a tribal community inhabiting the Agastyamalai tropical rain forests of Western Ghats. Benefit sharing arrangements between Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) and the Kani tribals of Kerala for the development of a drug called ‘Jeevani’ based on the knowledge of the Kani tribe (‘Jeevani’ is a restorative, immuno-enhancing, anti-stress and anti-fatigue agent, based on the herbal medicinal plant arogyapaacha, used by the Kani tribals in their traditional medicine) deserves credit. The knowledge was divulged by three Kani tribal members to the scientists of TBGRI who isolated 12 active compounds from arogyappacha (Trichopus zeylanicus), and developed the drug ‘Jeevani’.  The technology was then licensed to the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy Ltd., an Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer pursuing the commercialization of Ayurvedic herbal formulations. A Trust Fund was established to share the benefits arising from the commercialization of the TK-based drug ‘Jeevani’. This experience has provided insight for developing benefit-sharing provisions in the National Biodiversity Policy and Macrolevel Action Strategy as well as the legislation on biodiversity
  • Mali Case
    This is a part of WIPO sponsored study on the role of intellectual property rights in the sharing of benefits arising from the use of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge.
    The subject of this case study is the role of intellectual property rights in the benefit-sharing arrangements surrounding the gene Xa21 of Oryza longistaminata, a wild rice from Mali, which was isolated, cloned and patented at the University of California at Davis. 
  • Nigeria Case
    The subject of this case study is the role of intellectual property rights in the benefit-sharing arrangements surrounding the work of the Bio-resources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP) as a part of the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) in the field of traditional medicine.
  • Suriname Case

    The purpose of this case study is to present a project in Suriname which demonstrates how bioprospecting can promote the conservation of biological diversity. Bioprospecting – the exploration of biodiversity for commercially valuable genetic and biochemical resources – has been seen as a potentially powerful tool for conservation. However, it is clear that initial expectations about the ability of bioprospecting to have a significant impact on natural resource and economic development policy decisions were largely theoretical. In addition, bioprospecting,regardless of its contribution to biodiversity conservation, raises complex questions about linkages between traditional knowledge and developed country intellectual property protection regimes.Yet the fact remains that there is a large and growing market for products developed from genetic resources, and thus bioprospecting activities, in one form or another, are likely to continue.