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Traditional or indigenous knowledge is a written or oral set of practices common to a local community or an entire region. Such knowledge systems have played a major role in the development of communities worldwide, especially in India, especially in the areas of agriculture, health and medicine, and veterinary care.

The knowledge or wisdom developed belongs to no one in particular and can be collectively claimed by the community or peoples of the region as their own. In most cases, such knowledge applies to natural resources available in the region and sharing or usage of such knowledge has no financial or commercial considerations. Also, importantly, such knowledge has an important role to play in the community’s well being, identity and in many cases even survival or existence.

India has a rich base of traditional knowledge systems that have come under severe threat over the past few decades for various reasons, including loss of biodiversity, biopiracy and social changes.