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Draft Traditional Knowledge in Biodiscovery Code of Practice and Guidelines

Consultation is now open on the draft Traditional Knowledge in Biodiscovery Code of Practice and Guidelines.

This consultation is the next stage in the reform of Queensland’s biodiscovery laws. These reforms aim to better protect First Nations peoples’ knowledge and support the growth of the state's biodiscovery industry in line with international standards.

Biodiscovery in Queensland involves the collection and analysis of native biological material (e.g., plants, animals and other organisms) for commercial applications such as pharmaceuticals and insecticides.

The Code and Guidelines provide further detail on how to meet the ‘traditional knowledge obligation’ in the Biodiscovery Act 2004. This obligation requires biodiscovery entities to take all reasonable and practical measures to ensure they only use traditional knowledge for biodiscovery under an agreement with the custodians of the knowledge.

Code of Practice
The Code is designed to assist those involved in biodiscovery research, or the commercialisation of native biological material or biodiscovery research products meet the traditional knowledge obligation under the Biodiscovery Act 2004.

This obligation must be met before traditional knowledge can be used in biodiscovery.

The Code:

  • Describes the circumstances under which the traditional knowledge obligation applies, and what is meant by the use of traditional knowledge.
  • Outlines the principles, performance outcomes and minimum requirements for the use of traditional knowledge. This includes practical steps for identifying the custodians of the traditional knowledge; obtaining free, prior and informed consent for the use of the knowledge; and establishing benefit sharing agreements on mutually agreed terms.

The Guidelines aim to support genuine partnerships between First Nations peoples' and biodiscovery entities and provide practical information on how to meet the Code requirements and implement best practice.

Make a submission
Visit the Department of Environment and Science website to download the Code and Guidelines and find out more about how to make a submission.

Consultation closes 5pm on Friday 28 May 2021.

Comment now


Submit your response now. Closes 28 May 2021, 05.00pm.

Contact details

Last updated
 16 April 2021

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