Many activities and products based on traditional knowledge are important sources of income. Traditional technologies and innovations, which are by their very nature adapted to local needs, can provide a viable and environmentally and sustainable path to economic development. Access to genetic resources and the associated traditional knowledge can provide substantial benefits to companies and scientific research centres in both developed and developing countries. However, there is concern that traditional knowledge is sometimes appropriated, adapted and patented by scientists and industry, for the most part from developed countries, with little or no compensation to the custodians of this knowledge and without their prior informed consent. Developing countries should rally their concern for a fair and equitable sharing of benefits.
At present, there is also no agreement on what would be the most appropriate and effective way to achieve the goal of a fair and equitable sharing of the benefits derived from technologies and innovations based on traditional knowledge by both developing and developed countries.