Throughout two decades of development activity, reports on the "crisis" of desertification, food scarcity, and economic inefficiency have been challenged by local counter-narratives which show local people uniquely engaging in their environment in ways that deny the relevance of economic incentives (Lansing 1995; Leach and Mearns 1996; Appadurai 1990). Recently, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) characterized plant genetic resources as the "heritage of mankind" (Cullet 2001) in order to globalize conservation of them. Likewise, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) legislation has enabled biotechnology companies to enclose aspects of this heritage within intellectual property rights (IPR) in ways that primarily fuel international industry. As a result, the local cultural practices related to biological resources have been dismissed as inefficient or discussed as barriers to development. This may begin with the fact that the relationship between territorial cultural practices, biological resources, and intellectual properties has not been made explicit.