The Lao Traditional Medicine Mapping
Project (Lao TMMP)
Mary Riley*, Gregg R. Dietzman4**** Bounhong Southavong***, Marian Kadushin**, Kongmany Sydara***, Amey Libman1, Somsanith Bouamanivong***, Charlotte Gyllenhaal1, Doel Soejarto1.
*Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (PCRPS), College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 833 S. Wood St., Chicago, IL 60612 and **Department of Botany, Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
***Traditional Medicine Research Center, Ministry of Health, Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic
****White Point Systems, Inc., 120 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Because research involving the use of traditional knowledge and access to genetic resources triggers intellectual property concerns, the UIC ICBG has established the Lao Traditional Medicine Mapping Project (Lao TMMP) in order to organize, catalogue, and ultimately recognize and protect the intellectual property embedded in the knowledge and practices used by traditional healers in Lao traditional medicine. This paper will: (1) outline the objectives the Lao TMMP serves to meet; (2) briefly discuss the issues involved in the intellectual property protection of traditional knowledge; (3) discuss the formal and informal means to be used to protect Lao traditional medicinal knowledge. The overall goal of the Lao TMMP is to recognize the value of, protect, and promote traditional medicine in Laos, and to assist the TMRC its mission to encourage traditional medicine use among the Lao population, especially in rural areas.