Creating space for Indigenous perspectives on access and benefit-sharing: Encouraging researcher use of the Local Contexts Notices

Libby Liggins, Māui Hudson, Jane Anderson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A recent Molecular Ecology editorial made a proactive statement of support for the "Nagoya Protocol" and the principle of benefit-sharing by requiring authors to provide a "Data Accessibility and Benefit-Sharing Statement" in their articles. Here, we encourage another step that enables Indigenous communities to provide their own definitions and aspirations for access and benefit-sharing alongside the author's "Statement". We invite the Molecular Ecology research community to use Biocultural-, Traditional Knowledge-, and Cultural Institution Notices to help Indigenous communities gain visibility within our research structures. Notices are one of the tools offered by the Biocultural Labels Initiative (part of the Local Contexts system) designed specifically for researchers and institutions. The Notices are highly visible, machine-readable icons that signal the Indigenous provenance of genetic resources, and rights of Indigenous communities to define the future use of genetic resources and derived benefits. The Notices invite collaboration with Indigenous communities and create spaces within our research systems for them to define the provenance, protocols, and permissions associated with genetic resources using Labels. Authors contributing to Molecular Ecology can apply Notices to their articles by providing the persistent unique identifier and an optional use-statement associated with the Notice in their "Data Accessibility and Benefit-Sharing Statement". In this way, our research community has an opportunity to accelerate support for the principles of the Nagoya Protocol, to alleviate concerns regarding Indigenous Data Sovereignty and equitable outcomes, and to build better relationships with Indigenous collaborators to enhance research, biodiversity, and conservation outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2477-2482
    Number of pages6
    JournalMolecular ecology
    Issue number11
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


    • biocultural labels and notices
    • indigenous data sovereignty
    • nagoya protocol
    • research ethics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Genetics


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