chapter  5
13 Pages

The Samoan Mamala case

Although this chapter refers to events that began prior to the establishment of the CBD, there are relevant actions undertaken by the researcher and subsequent research institutions of relevance to ABS. This case study examines the discovery of an anti-viral phorbol (prostratin) from ethnobotanical study of Samoan remedies in the late 1980s, and the agreements put in place to benefit the community of Falealupo and the people of Samoa. Prostratin was identified by Dr Paul Cox of the Institute for Ethnobotany as an isolated extract from traditional healer remedies that used the rainforest tree known locally as ‘Mamala’ (Omolanthus/Homalanthus nutans). Three agreements are relevant:

x The Falealupo Covenant which allowed Dr Paul Cox to access a community-held rainforest area for biodiscovery purposes (1989).