February 2010


Law needed to protect community inventions
Business Daily, 22 February 2010

NAIROBI, KENYA: In this article, Cathy Mputhia highlights the need for legal protection of traditional knowledge, traditional medicine and cultural practices in Kenya, and discusses challenges with regard to the nature of traditional knowledge, intellectual property rights and community rights. Read the article …

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2011 Indigenous Fellowship Programme
OHCHR, February 2010

The Indigenous Fellowship Programme was launched in 1997 by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the context of the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People. The aim of the programme is to give indigenous persons the opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with human rights issues in general and indigenous issues in particular. This training programme is available in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Russian. The deadlines to receive applications for the 2011 Indigenous Fellowship Programme are: English speaking programme, 31 May 2010; Spanish speaking programme, 30 June 2010; French speaking programme, 1 October 2010; and Russian speaking programme, 29 October 2010. Further information, including application forms …

What is REDD? A Guide for Indigenous Communities
Christian Erni and Helen Tugendhat (eds.)
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Forest Peoples Programme, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs and Tebtebba (2010)

This book provides information material on REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries) and its implications for indigenous peoples. It is intended primarily for indigenous peoples as a guide in understanding climate change, REDD and how they relate to the recognition and exercise of the collective rights of indigenous peoples. It includes parts on climate change, REDD, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and how indigenous peoples can use it in relation to REDD programmes. The book addresses several issues of relevance to TK, including: the adverse impacts of climate change on traditional livelihoods, which would also mean loss of traditional knowledge and would undermine the capacity of indigenous women to perform their roles as seed keepers and transmitters of culture and language; adaptation measures based on TK; UN REDD Programme’s plans to raise awareness on TK and to develop tools for assessing co-benefits; REDD’s potential to provide national-level recognition that TK is critical to forest conservation; and using UNDRIP to enhance indigenous peoples’ capacities to mitigate and adopt to climate change by using TK and sustainable forest management practices and by implementing self-determined development. Download the book in parts [pdf] …

The 4th International Conference on Community Based Adaptation (CBA) to Climate Change
21 February – 27 February 2010 (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Organized by the International Institute for Environment and Development, Environmental Protection Management Services (EPMS, Tanzania), the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, and the Ring Alliance, the meeting will share information about ways communities can adapt to impacts of climate change using approaches such as water harvesting, alternative farming practices, and strategies to reduce the risk from disasters. The conference aims to identify good strategies for sharing information within and between vulnerable communities, and will promote the integration of community-based adaptation into national policies and international development programmes. Visit the meeting webpage …  Follow the IISD RS coverage of the meeting …

First-Ever Drop in filings under Patent Cooperation Treaty Seen in 2009
IP Watch, 8 February 2010

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: At a press conference held on 8 February 2010, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry praised India’s “sophisticated Traditional Knowledge Digital Library,” a repository of prior art that has been licensed to the US Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office, as “a model we hope to establish in other countries around the world.” There has been ongoing debate at WIPO and in other international fora over whether the IP system is the best place for protection of traditional knowledge. Read the article …

Good news from Ecoregion Lachua, Guatemala
The Guatemala Times, 13 February 2010

GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA: A main cornerstone of the Participative Bilingual Environmental Education Program (PBEEP) that biologists Marleny Rosales-Meda and Maria Susana Hermes carry out with Maya-Q´eqchi´ communities that neighbor Laguna Lachua National Park (LLNP) is linking scientific and traditional knowledge to favor the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the Ecoregion Lachua. A key objective of the programme is to promote the rescue and revalorization of ancestral Q´eqchi´ knowledge that is strongly related with the respectful and responsible use of nature. Since March 2009, the PBEEP has positively involved more than 100 Maya-Q´eqchi´ elders (men and women) from 10 local communities in a participative process to gather and share their traditional knowledge and spiritual values with children and teenagers. During interviews, elders expressed their concern that traditional tree planting knowledge is rapidly being lost in their communities. That is why Rosales and Hermes, proposed to elders and LLNP managers to carry out a different kind of reforestation activity guided towards rescuing and transmitting traditional trees planting values and wisdom to children and teenagers from five communities of the Ecoregion Lachua. Read the article …

IJTK Vol. 9(1) [January 2010]
NISCAIR publications, January 2010

The January 2010 issue of the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge focuses on ethnomedicine. It contains 37 articles, including on: ethnomedical practices of rural and tribal populations of India with special reference to the mother and childcare; high altitude botanicals in integrative medicine; use of medicinal plants in animal healthcare; hundred common forest medicinal plants of Karnataka in primary healthcare; ethnobotanical survey of the plants used in the treatment of diabetes; utilization of wetland resources by the rural people of Nagaon district, Assam; and a study on traditional mother care plants of rural communities of South Kerala. View list of articles, including links to full text …

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