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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Traditional Knowledge is Focus of Talk


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A Central American expert on environmental law will address the issue of protecting native peoples' knowledge of their lands when she speaks this Thursday at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

Grethel Aguilar R., vice chair of the Meso-America Commission on Environmental Law, will deliver the annual R.G. Pack Lecture, titled "Legal Basis for Access to Genetic Resources and Protection of Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Lands."

In Costa Rica, Aguilar is the legal adviser for indigenous peoples on pending legislation concerning their rights. She has also worked with the governments of the Netherlands and Norway.

Her presentation at ESF will focus on the knowledge indigenous people have of their own land and resources. It is estimated that between 25,000 and 75,000 plant species are used in the practice of traditional medicine. Only about one percent of those species is accepted for commercial use. Aguilar will discuss the need for the equitable sharing of the economic benefits derived from such use.

Aguilar will speak at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Alumni Lounge, Marshall Hall, on the ESF campus.