The concepts of ‘bioprospecting’ and ‘biopiracy’ cover the same range of activities, but specific practices and justice evaluations separate them. Bioprospecting signals the economic profit of the commodification of genetic resources found in nature, usually through the use of intellectual property rights, and alleges to contribute to humanity’s well-being. Biopiracy denounces the injustice proper of many bioprospecting processes by pointing out that it is mainly corporations in the global North who profit from commercialising the genetic resources that often rural communities in the global South helped develop during millennia and whose uses were already known for them. This entry presents the basic definitions of ‘bioprospecting’ and ‘biopiracy’, the tension between them, and the diverse biopiracy mechanisms.

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