Final ABS community consultations (November 2018)
The ABS project team has recently completed the last of their community consultations after holding sessions in the three vaka on Rarotonga – Puaikura, Takitumu and Te Au o Tonga.
Although the meetings were attended by small groups of participants (very much unlike the huge gatherings in the Pa Enua), those who attended were very focused on the rights of the individual taunga as to what protections the registration process might provide the owners of the traditional knowledge and the plants associate with the medicines they produced. Another concern was how rare it was becoming to find these medicinal plants nowadays with so much land being cleared for building, etc
While Are Korero are being established on the Pa Enua following on from the ABS consultation visits to incorporate the interests of taunga and the requests that might arise from those who may wish to study the effects of some of their natural cures, there is a need to also form an Are Korero to protect the interests of those who use traditional knowledge and natural medicines on Rarotonga.
There was also concern raised that the leaders of the Are Korero from Rarotonga and the Pa Enua were not already established as a group so that collectively they could discuss issues such as ABS and how they can protect their taunga and their traditional knowledge.