September 2009


The REDD Site: Indigenous Peoples and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation
UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge Initiative, September 2009

The United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) Traditional Knowledge Initiative has recently re-launched the REDD Site, part of a pilot project on promoting the effective participation of indigenous peoples in processes for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). The REDD Site is an information bulletin and blog with a specific focus on the ongoing development of an international REDD mechanism and its implications for indigenous peoples. The initiative highlights REDD projects and resources relevant to indigenous peoples’ particular needs, and aims to inform discussions in the lead up to Copenhagen. The overall aims of the project are to assist with current efforts to raise awareness about REDD issues amongst indigenous peoples, and to assist indigenous peoples to develop a long-term strategy to empower themselves in REDD activities. Read the UNU-IAS TKI press release … Visit the REDD Site …

Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change: Australia 3
UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge Initiative, September 2009

The UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge Initiative and the UNU Media Studio present a video brief about the effects of climate change in Arnhem land, Northern Australia. The short presentation is told from the perspective of an indigenous Bininj man in Northern Australia, who highlights the fire abatement scheme of Western Arnhemland, a carbon offset community programme gaining a lot of international attention. This is the third in a series of five web episodes highlighting indigenous perspectives on climate change. Read the announcement … See the video brief …

Questions and Answers: Prof. Anil Kumar Gupta
The Wall Street Journal, 24 September 2009

NEW YORK, USA: Prof. Anil Kumar Gupta, vice chairman of National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and founder of the Honey Bee Network, a knowledge network for augmenting grassroots innovation, has been diligently scouting for and documenting traditional practices as well as encouraging technologies in rural India since establishing this initiative in 1989. In this interview, he describes achievements of the Honey Bee Network, including benefit-sharing arrangements for TK-based innovations, and TK documentation. Read the interview …

Climate change solutions lie with poor communities
Daily Monitor (Uganda), 24 September 2009

KAMPALA, UGANDA: In this opinion piece, author Ben Twinomugisha argues that most Ugandans remain unaware of scientific adaptation strategies for coping with climate change; they have however responded informally to climate variability for centuries, so any adaptation to climate change in Uganda is based on past experiences. Strategies to cope with climate change should therefore build on systems which can be adapted to local philosophy. Read the article …

Fate of Traditional Knowledge a Key Decision at WIPO Assemblies
IP Watch, 22 September 2009

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: In his opening speech to the WIPO General Assemblies meeting, held from 22 September to 1 October 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland, Director General Francis Gurry cited TK protection as an area where progress is needed. A key decision on the meeting’s agenda is the future of WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, where agreement has proved unreachable over the last year. Read the article …

UN Conference Pushes Plant Breeding; Others See Food Security in Jeopardy
IP Watch, 23 September 2009

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Participants at the second World Seed Conference, held from 8-10 September 2009, at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, agreed that access to genetic resources and the protection of intellectual property rights are essential to sustain plant breeding. But key opponents not present at the meeting claim that plant breeding will endanger biodiversity, sustainability and ultimately food security. Upgrading the UPOV Convention to provide stricter exclusive rights to commercial plant breeders “will further undermine the rights of farmers and promote the loss of seed diversity that poor communities depend on for their resilience to changing climatic conditions,” said Krystyna Swiderska, researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development. Read the article … The Conference conclusions …

Water, Cultural Diversity and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures?
1 October – 3 October 2009 (Kyoto, Japan)

Organized by UNESCO International Hydrological Programme, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature and UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge Initiative, this international symposium aims at encouraging global recognition of, and respect for, cultural diversity in water resources management, in order to facilitate collaborative actions for sustainability of water and cultures. Participants will address issues including: “water cultures”  and the culture of water; how traditional ways of life are threatened due to the loss of water resources and how traditional knowledge might contribute towards future water security; how water resource development and management has undermined the viability of culturally diverse groups and how water resource management can strengthen biodiversity and cultural diversity; and strategic recommendations for incorporating sociocultural perspectives into water resource management systems, addressing rights and entitlements to water, and stewardship principles and responsibilities. Visit the Symposium’s website … Read UNU-IAS TKI’s news release …

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