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Decolonising action-research: the Potato Park biocultural protocol for benefit-sharing (PLA 65)

Alejandro Argumedo

Journal article

For decades, indigenous peoples have been calling for a holistic and more sensitive approach to their culture – one that values
and nurtures their traditional knowledge systems and biocultural diversity. This article describes an innovative participatory action-research approach with five Quechua communities in Peru,
where the communities worked with researchers to develop the Andean Potato Park’s biocultural protocol for equitable
benefit-sharing. The BCP includes not only benefits derived from access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge, but
also all benefits that come from activities related to the direct and indirect use of biocultural resources. The process of
participating in the development of a research methodology and focus became not only a process of empowerment for the communities and their institutions, but also enabled them to participate in
decision-making, particularly in defining the content of the BCP. As well as discussing this participatory process, the
article briefly outlines the provisions of the BCP, and reflects on how the methodology could be improved in the future.

This article appears in Participatory Learning and Action 65 on Biodiversity and Culture: exploring community protocols, rights and consent

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