November 2007


5th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers
21 November – 23 November 2007 (Tripoli, Lebanon)

Fifty-seven countries, all members of the Organization of Islamic Conference, took part in the three-day 5th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers in downtown Tripoli. The conference convened at the invitation of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-ISESCO, and was held under the theme: Cultural Policies in the Islamic world: Building on the past to shape the future.

The Conference approved an Action Plan to Renew Cultural Policies in the Member States and Adapt them to International Changes. It also released a Communiqué, titled Tripoli Commitments on Renewing Cultural Policies in the Islamic World and Adapting them to International Changes, which contained several references to the importance of Traditional Knowledge.

Under Promoting and Protecting the Islamic Cultural Identity, Commitment Two on Catering for Intangible Islamic Cultural Heritage calls for elaborating new methods for the purpose of recording oral heritage and related arts by using state of the art communication technologies, in addition to encouraging and supporting universities and research centers, and establishing federations and associations of officials and staff serving in the field of the intangible Islamic cultural heritage.

In the field of Cultural Rights for All, Commitment One on Cultural Sensitization recommends preparing simplified cultural material and media programmes to introduce the large public to culture and the cultural heritage forming the identity of peoples, in addition to coordinating government sectors to streamline such programmes in relevant textbooks and teaching material.

Under Awareness Raising, Commitment Two on the Development of Human Resources in Cultural Fields recommends establishing appropriate funding mechanisms for the training and caring of inventors in the fields of traditional knowledge and cultural industries and urging the private sector to contribute to its support in return for special privileges such as in advertisement; and Commitment Four on Promoting Cultural Industries, recommends enacting incentive and regulating laws to promote cultural industries and protect cultural products, and devoting further attention to craftsmen traditional crafts such as decoration and the production of artifacts and devoting more incentive awards to that end.

Read the statement…

Invis Multimedia Develops Innovative Web Based Video Encyclopedia of India
Business Wire India – 26 November 2007

KERALA, INDIA: UNESCO New Delhi has announced plans for an innovative web based video encyclopedia of India. The site, www.indiavideo.org, will highlight the unique culture, heritage and geography of India and will go online by April 2008. Minja Yang, Director of the UNESCO New Delhi Office, said that UNESCO’s principles embrace the protection and promotion of heritage and creativity in a much broader sense: “Cultural diversity encompasses landscapes and buildings, but also rituals, performing art, traditional crafts and other traditional knowledge on nature. This is why a video encyclopedia is particularly well suited to depicting the full range of India’s culture.” Read the article…

Arctic In Peril: A culture fights for survival
The Star [Canada] – 26 November 2007

HUDSON BAY, CANADA: While most agree on the need to preserve the Inuit way, native leaders and government policy-makers have struggled to find practical solutions. The ‘right to be cold’ is a problem that can’t be solved by simply cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Nothing illustrates better how serious the standoff between science and traditional knowledge has become than the ongoing debate over polar bears in western Hudson Bay. Long-term research by Canadian Wildlife Service scientists indicates that climate change is hitting this population hard and population has declined by about 22 per cent since 1994. But so far, many Inuit hunters have shown little interest in reducing their annual quotas. They complain that Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, the Inuktituk term for traditional ecological knowledge, tells them there are more animals than ever. Read the article…

African council proposes forum for women scientists
SciDev.net – 20 November 2007

MOMBASA, KENYA: A forum for African women in science and technology was amongst the resolutions agreed by the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) at their meeting in Mombasa last week (16 November). Ministers attending the conference also voted for a consolidated intellectual property rights framework, and encouraged member states to use it to develop their own regulations to protect individual and community rights and traditional knowledge. Read the article…

An indigenous perspective on climate change
Latin America Press – 15 November 2007

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA: Indigenous peoples, long the flag-bearers of environmentalism, watch their perspective on climate change continue to be ignored. Cameras flashed as two Mayan delegates from Guatemala laid flowers on the stage, a ritual intended to bring good fortune to the Third International Seminar on Indigenous Women and Global Climate Change, held in Bogota in September. Yet as soon as their short ceremony had finished, the audience’s interest waned. This is the challenge for those working to incorporate indigenous voices into discussions on climate change: to make ethnic indigenous perspectives impossible to be ignored. Read the article…

Final Meeting of the International Steering Committee of the Consultative Process Towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB)
15 November – 17 November 2007 (Montpellier, France)
Excerpted from the ENB Summary

The Final Meeting of the International Steering Committee of the Consultative Process Towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (IMoSEB) addressed outcomes from six regional consultations that have taken place in North American, African, European, Asian, South American, and the Pacific regions since January 2007. Discussions focused on the needs and options for an IMoSEB, as well as on how to improve the science-policy interface for biodiversity at all levels. In their final Statement, the International Steering Committee, while not recommending the formation of a new institution, agreed to invite donors and governments to provide support for the further and urgent consideration of the establishment of a science-policy interface. It further invited the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and others to convene a meeting to consider establishing such an interface.

Prior to the final meeting, a specific recommendation arose from the African Regional Consultation to include traditional knowledge and socioeconomic aspects to ensure sustainable development of biodiversity while complying with local and national legislative structures. The South American and Pacific regional consultations also addressed the role of indigenous participation in IMoSEB. TK was discussed during the roundtable discussion on needs.

Visit the IMOSEB meeting page…
Read the ENB Summary…

Forum Education Ministers to dialogue on sustainable education
Tonga-Now – 15 November 2007

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: The South Pacific Forum Ministers of Education will gather in New Zealand from November 26 through 28 for their sixth annual meeting with the theme of ‘Enhancing educational outcomes for Pacific children and youth’. The primary purpose of the 2007 Ministerial meeting will be to update Ministers on the implementation of the Forum Basic Education Action Plan (FBEAP) and the Pacific Regional Initiatives for the Delivery of Basic Education (PRIDE) Project. In line with the eight strategic objectives for sustainable development endorsed within the Pacific Plan, Education for Sustainable Development provides a critical mechanism for achieving long term change to improve environmental sustainability, health, education and training, gender equality, youth involvement and the recognition and protection of cultural values, identities and traditional knowledge. Read the article…

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