Third World Network. (Forum)

Article excerpt

The Third World Network (TWN) is a nongovernmental organization based in Palang, Malaysia, that brings together individuals and groups to focus on the economic, environmental, and social issues faced by developing countries. The TWN conducts research in these areas, publishes related books and periodicals, and works at international conferences to promote the interests of these countries. The TWN's Web site, located at http://www.twnside.org.sg/, is a guide to its many activities.

As most of the world's wealth of biodiversity is located in the developing countries along the equator, the preservation, ethical research, and equitable distribution of biodiversity and indigenous knowledge are a main focus for the TWN. The TWN site offers a number of books on these topics, current news items, and, under a menu titled Issues, links to pages with information on more specific topics, including Biodiversity, Access, Indigenous Knowledge, and IPRs (intellectual property rights).

From the Biodiversity, Access, Indigenous Knowledge, and IPRs page, the article "Biotechnology and Indigenous Peoples," accessed through the Indigenous Knowledge and Community Rights link, provides an historical background of the biodiversity debates going on between developing countries, multinational pharmaceutical companies, and researchers from developed countries from the perspective of a member of an indigenous group (in this case, the Igorot people of the Philippines). …