December 2009


WIPO Indigenous IP Law Fellowship Program 2010
WIPO, December 2009

The World Intellectual Property Organization seeks expressions of interest for the WIPO Indigenous Intellectual Property Law Fellowship. The Fellow will work in the Traditional Knowledge Division of WIPO and should be able to commence the fellowship in Geneva on 1 April 2010. The Fellow is expected to meet the following requirements: a recognized and active member of an indigenous community; an established track record in advising on and researching legal issues relating to indigenous peoples and IP law and practice; legal qualifications, or equivalent in practical expertise and community work, preferably with specific components relating to IP law; ability to work effectively in English, and to work fluently in and prepare documents in at least one of the six UN languages; a record of publications and/or participation in community consultations and outreach would be an advantage; and demonstrated capacity to contribute directly to the approved program outputs established in the WIPO Program and Budget. Expressions of interest should be sent to the WIPO Secretariat before 12 February 2010. Download the request for expressions of interest, including full details [pdf] …

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Community-based adaptation to climate change
Hannah Reid, Mozaharul Alam, Rachel Berger, Terry Cannon, Angela Milligan, IIED, December 2009

This special issue of Participatory Learning and Action focuses on recent approaches to climate change adaptation which are community-based and participatory, building on the priorities, knowledge, and capacities of local people. It discusses how community-based approaches to climate change have emerged, and the similarities and differences between CBA and other participatory development and disaster risk reduction approaches. It highlights innovative participatory methods which are developing to help communities analyze the causes and effects of climate change, integrate scientific and community knowledge of climate change, and plan adaptation measures. In their chapter “Katalysis: helping Andean farmers adapt to climate change,” Sherwood and Bentley describe how farmers use wind patterns, cloud formations, the position of rainbows, and animal behavior to predict the coming season. In “Participatory rice variety selection in Sri Lanka,” Berger et al. describe a traditional weather forecasting system called Litha, based on lunar cycles, and used by communities in southern coastal in Sri Lanka to predict rainfall patterns, and the best time to plant crops. In “Combining different knowledges: community-based climate change adaptation in small island developing states,” Ilan Kelman, Jessica Mercer, and Jennifer J. West describe a community-based framework to combine different types of knowledge to adapt to climate change. Download the book [pdf] …

Pacific Model Law on Traditional Knowledge: Paving the way internationally
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat press release, 21 December 2009

SUVA, FIJI: The 2002 Pacific Model Law for the protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture is paving the way for work in this area around the world, according to the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Tuiloma Neroni Slade. Slade further observed that the Model Law potentially promises income generation for Pacific communities, which is vital for building livelihoods and economies. WIPO’s Terri Janke said the Pacific Model Law is internationally recognized and gives the Pacific a leading edge in the area of TK protection. Read the press release …

You really don’t know what you have got until it’s gone
The Jakarta Post, 23 December 2009

JAKARTA, INDONESIA: Last month the meeting of the Like-minded Countries on International Legal Instrument(s) for the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and expressions of folklore was held in Bali. Participants included delegations from Algeria, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as the FAO, WTO and WIPO. Read the article …

New policy recognises Indigenous fishing
ABC News, 24 December 2009

PERTH, AUSTRALIA: The State Government has drafted a new policy to recognize customary fishing by Aboriginal people in its management of Western Australia’s fishery. The policy recognizes the practice as separate from the commercial or recreational fishing and allows the Department of Fisheries to manage traditional fishing and hunting. Heather Brayford from fisheries says the new policy acknowledges the cultural rights of Aboriginal people while ensuring customary fishing is still done in a sustainable way. Read the article …

To save fish, conservation loops in the locals
Discovery News, 22 December 2009

SUVA, FIJI: As natural resources decline in Fiji, local people seek employment in cities and at resorts. In the process, native cultures disappear, as does biodiversity. And this is a trend echoed globally. But it doesn’t have to be that way, experts say. At hundreds of sites around the world, conservation groups are attempting to protect ecosystems and cultures at the same time. It’s conservation with a local twist, but compromises are essential. Read the article …

Indigenous Peoples’ Assessment of the Current Negotiations: Issues and Ways Forward in Copenhagen
IISD ENB on the Side, 9 December 2009

This side-event, presented by Tebtebba Foundation, focused on human rights approaches to climate change. Participants highlighted Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ ability to use traditional knowledge for adaptation, and to incorporate it into science-based approaches. Others stressed the effects of climate change on indigenous lands, livelihoods and cultures. Read the IISD RS report on the event …

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