7 Oct 2004

Samoa explores protection of traditional knowledge

2:10 pm on 7 October 2004

A consultant for Samoa's Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment says they are trying to find ways to improve their ability to protect traditional knowledge.

Tepa Suaesi says traditional information is often passed down orally and kept within communities.

He says Pacific ecosystems are already fragile, and its hard balancing the needs of biological resources and humans.

Mr Suaesi says computer technology is making it harder to protect the use of indigenous information.

"With the internet, things are connecting pretty fast and rapidly and people are able to set up their own systems and share information. In fact, many of things already generated have been shared through others through their own websites and things like that."

Tepa Suaesi says there are some benefits however, to improving one's knowledge about the resources of a country.

He says he wants to know how Samoa could benefit from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility or GBIF, who are wanting to catalogue the information held in museums and research institutes around the world.