June 2009


Call for applicants
CBD Alliance, June 2009

The CBD Alliance has circulated a call for applicants coming from community-based, civil society and especially indigenous peoples’ organizations to apply for two funding slots to follow the CBD Article 8(j) process.

The first slot would be for one-time funding for the upcoming sixth meeting of the CBD Working Group on Article 8(j), to take place from 2-6 November 2009, in Montreal, Canada. Applicants for this slot need not be familiar with the international level work but should clearly have done some work nationally/locally on this issue and demonstrate that they can benefit from exposure to the international level meeting, as well as be able to take what they learn back to their community/locality/nation. Download the application [pdf] …

The second slot would be for consistent funding to cover all Working Group meetings up to CBD COP 10, to be held in October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan. Applicants for this slot preferably have clear expertise in international level work, and have expertise both nationally and locally on this issue. In addition, funding would be available for this participant to be able to conduct national work and to write briefing/policy papers on the issue. Download the application [pdf] …

Applications, including a supporting letter from applicants’ organization, should be submitted to: reachmiriam [at] earthlink.net, by no later than 20 July 2009, 9:00 am Pacific Standard Time.

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CARICOM group seeks to protect traditional knowledge
Caribbean Net News, 25 June 2009

KINGSTON, JAMAICA: Currently on a fact-finding mission in Jamaica, a CARICOM working group on traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources, set up under WIPO, aims to determine the best method for TK protection in Caribbean countries. The working group is carrying out similar missions across the Caribbean. Read the article …

First Result Of Benefit-Sharing Mechanism For FAO Treaty; Push For Farmers’ Rights
Intellectual Property Watch, 23 June 2009

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Reporting on the third meeting of the Governing Body to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, held in Tunis, Tunisia, from 1-5 June 2009, this article highlights the announcement of 11 projects to be funded by the Treaty’s benefit-sharing fund and progress on farmers’ rights. Read the article …

Weaving tradition
Times-Standard, 28 June 2009

CALIFORNIA, USA: The California Indian Basketweavers Association was formed in 1992, in part because more and more people realized they were the last people with knowledge that had been passed down for generations. The association was established to preserve, promote and perpetuate the basket weaving traditions of California’s Indian tribes. Hosted recently by the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the association’s annual Basketweavers Gathering offered a plethora of workshops and training in the cultural art form. The event draws basketweavers from all over the state, who come to teach their craft, learn from each other, and to display and sell their works. Read the article  …

WIPO IGC on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, 14th session
29 June – 3 July 2009 (Geneva, Switzerland)

The IGC Secretariat has recently posted the following documents on the meeting’s webpage:

  • an information note for the panel of indigenous and local communities to be held on 29 June, on Indigenous and Local Community Initiatives in Protecting Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expressions and Genetic Resources: Applying the Practical Lessons of Community Experience;
  • a note on accreditation of certain organizations;
  • a note on participation of indigenous and local communities: appointment of the Advisory Board of the Voluntary Fund; and
  • an overview on genetic resources.

Visit the meeting’s webpage …

International Vilm Workshop on Matters related to Traditional Knowledge associated with Genetic resources and the ABS Regime
6 July – 10 July 2009 (Isle of Vilm, Germany)

Organized by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the International Vilm Workshop on Matters related to Traditional Knowledge associated with Genetic Resources and the ABS Regime aims at exchanging information in order to support the rights of indigenous and local communities in the negotiations of the international ABS regime. The aim of the workshop is not to reach a consensus on the individual points but rather to provide an opportunity for an exchange of technical options and ideas, in preparation for the eight meeting of the CBD Working Group on ABS, to be held from 9-15 November 2009, in Montreal, Canada. Visit the meeting’s webpage …

Way Forward on IP Issues at the WTO Still Unclear
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, 17 June 2009

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: The WTO Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) met on 8 June 2009, but saw very little, if any, progress towards resolving TRIPS issues in the context of the Doha negotiations. These issues include an amendment to the TRIPS Agreement to require that patent applicants disclose the origin of any genetic resources or traditional knowledge used in the inventions. Originally supported by a number of developing countries, such a proposal has drawn the support of more than 100 WTO Members, including the EU and Switzerland. The USA, joined by Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan, reaffirmed their opposition, with the USA noting that the disclosure requirement is not essential and bringing the CBD into the TRIPS Agreement would not make sense. According to the report, Australia, Canada and New Zealand suggested the possibility of shifting discussions on the TRIPS Agreement and the CBD to another forum, possibly the World Intellectual Property Organization. Read the article …

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