Bioprospecting is the study of genetic materials in plants or animal species from which medicinal drugs, pharmaceutical products or other commercially valuable compounds can be produced. These genetic materials may include biochemical compounds, micro- and macro-organisms, genes or other products.
To engage in bioprospecting in the Northern Territory, you will need to apply for a permit to undertake scientific research. Before you apply for this permit, you will need to enter into a benefit sharing agreement with the resource access provider. Establishing a benefit sharing agreement ensures the resource access provider is fairly and equitably compensated for any economic benefit arising from bioprospecting activities. A benefit sharing agreement also provides for the protection of, recognition of and valuing of any indigenous peoples knowledge to be used.
The location of the bioprospecting activity will determine which department to send your permit application. If you want to bisoprospect on land resources, you must send your application to Parks and Wildlife NT. If you want to bioprospect in marine areas, you must send your application to NT Fisheries.