The knowledge associated with traditional medicine has been developed for millennia and is a fundamental aspect of the culture of each people and especially of the indigenous peoples, African-Americans and the different ethnic diversity of the continent. This knowledge has a wide range of manifestations and practical uses which results, for example, in the knowledge of medicinal plants. It also includes the understanding of the relationship between health and disease, life and death, or in a general way, the vision of the world that has a close relationship with health, therapeutic, ritual and symbolic procedures as holistic systems for the recovery of health.
This knowledge has often been threatened by changes in the cultural base of the peoples or by different ethnic groups and by the misappropriation of such knowledge, mainly related to phytotherapy.
In this section, you will find soon a review of the different international and national strategies, agreements, and protocols designed for the protection of traditional knowledge, and traditional medicines of the various ethnic groups of the region of the Americas
4.1 International instruments related to the protection of traditional medicine and collective rights
Globally, international agreements have been created to pursue the protection of collective rights, traditional medicine, and knowledge of indigenous peoples, Afro- descendants and other ethnic groups.
- Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, number 169 (International Labor Organization)
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
- Nagoya Protocol
- American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Organization of American States.
- Executive Decree of the National Regulation of the Common Regime on Access to Genetic Resources in Application of Decision 391 of the Andean Community of Nations.
World and regional consensus relevant to the health context of indigenous peoples, people of African descent, Romani and members of other ethnic groups (Source: Ethnicity and Health Policy, PAHO, Non-exhaustive list)
- World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (2001)
- Rio Declaration on the Social Determinants of Health (World Health Organization, 2011)
- World Summit of Afro-descendants (2011)
- International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024 (2013)
- World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (2014)
- 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015)
- Plan of Action for the Decade of Afro-Descendants in the Americas (2016)
4.2 Public policy linked to Traditional Medicine in the Americas
In this section, you will soon find a summary of public policies on Traditional Medicine in the countries of the Americas. For now, we invite you to visit the Regulations and Policies in TCIM.