Natural Justice is proud to have been awarded an OCSDNet Grant to focus on Empowering Indigenous Peoples and Knowledge Systems Related to Climate Change and Intellectual Property Rights This 24-month project, led by principle researcher Dr. Cath Traynor, examines processes of open and collaborative science related to indigenous peoples’ knowledge, climate change, and intellectual property. It assumes and challenges practices of open and collaborative science as a process, one that should involve modes of being both open and closed.
The notion of science as “open” and nature as “freely accessible” has historically been used to exploit countries in the global south such as South Africa. British and Dutch colonial scientists, for example, characterized land and resources in South Africa as “belonging to no one” under the doctrine of terra nullius in order to take biodiverse plants and produce botanical science. The notion that knowledge and resources should be open and accessible has therefore been historically used to construct South Africa as a mere supplier of raw material, rather than producer of scientific knowledge. In particular, indigenous peoples’ knowledge, resources, and heritage have been cast as free for the taking. More on the project, and the full proposal submitted by Natural Justice is accessible here.