November 2010


UN General Assembly Resolution on Indigenous Issues- Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People
16 November 2010

The 65th session of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/C.3/65/L.22/Rev.1) in which: decides to expand the mandate of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations so that it can assist representatives of indigenous peoples’ organizations and communities to participate in sessions of the Human Rights Council and of human rights treaty bodies; and decides to organize a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be held in 2014. Download the resolution [pdf] …

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Fifth Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage
15-19 November 2010 (Nairobi, Kenya)

The fifth session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage decided to inscribe four elements on the Urgent Safeguarding List and 47 elements on the Representative List. The Representative List now comprises 213 elements. The sixth session will be held in November 2011, in Bali, Indonesia. Read the TK Bulletin meeting review of 17 November … Read the UNESCO press release on the meeting, including lists of inscribed elements … Further information on the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage …

Capacity-building workshop in Central America and the Caribbean on the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage
16 November – 18 November 2010 (Panama City, Panama)

This workshop aimed to introduce the mechanisms for the implementation of the Convention on intangible cultural heritage, and strengthen national capacities to implement and safeguard intangible cultural heritage. A particular focus was put on inventory-making as well as on the criteria and procedures for the inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. Further information …

CCW Call for concept notes 2010 – Adapting to climate change in vulnerable coastal communities
IDRC, November 2010

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is calling for research ideas that can provide adaptive solutions to the water-related impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities living in coastal areas. Research should emphasize alternatives that may be implemented at different scales from small communities to national-level policy options. The funding targets institutions in developing countries, such as universities, research centres and other organizations with a research mandate. The deadline is 1 December 2010. Further information, including downloadable application form …

The relevance of traditional knowledge systems for ethnopharmacological research: theoretical and methodological contributions
Victoria Reyes-Garcia, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2010, 6: 32, doi: 10.1186/1746-4269-6-32

In this article, the author discusses three potential theoretical contributions of TK systems to ethnopharmacological research. First, while many plants used in indigenous pharmacopoeias have active compounds, those compounds do not always act alone in indigenous healing systems. Research highlights the holistic nature of TK systems and helps understand plant’s efficacy in its cultural context. Second, research on TK systems can improve our understanding of how ethnopharmacological knowledge is distributed in a society, and who benefits from it. Third, research on TK systems can enhance the study of the social relations that enable the generation, maintenance, spread, and devolution of cultural traits and innovations, including ethnopharmacological knowledge. She concludes that ethical considerations in the ethnopharmacology of the 21st century should go beyond the recognition of the intellectual property rights or the acquisition of research permits, to include considerations on the healthcare of the original holders of ethnopharmacological knowledge. Ethnopharmacologists can work with health care providers in the developing world for the local implementation of ethnopharmacological research results. Read the article …

Growing a Forest, and Harvesting Jobs
The New York Times, 22 November 2010

IXTLÁN de JUÁREZ, MEXICO: Three decades ago the Zapotec Indians in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico fought for and won the right to communally manage the forest. Before that, state-owned companies had exploited it as they pleased under federal government concessions. They slowly built their own lumber business and, at the same time, began studying how to protect the forest. Now, the town’s enterprises employ 300 people who harvest timber, produce wooden furniture and care for the woodlands, and Ixtlán has grown to become the gold standard of community forest ownership and management, international forestry experts say. In Ixtlán, under Zapotec traditions, all decisions about the forest and its related businesses are made by a general assembly of 390 townspeople based on ancestral customs. These “comuneros” are required to contribute their labor as needed to the forest and its enterprises. “Anybody who tries their own illegal business is harshly judged,” Pedro Vidal García, a longtime forester in Ixtlán who now works for the Rainforest Alliance said. “The assembly is very tough.” A comunero who dares to work as a guide to illegal loggers or hunters is branded a traitor and could lose all property rights.” Last year, the community’s businesses made a profit of about $230,000. Of that, 30 percent went back into the business, another 30 percent went into forest preservation and the final 40 percent went back to the workers and the community. Read the article …

Regaining self-esteem among indigenous peoples
The Inquirer (Philippines), 16 November 2010

BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES: To catch an eel for his family and neighbors, a Talaandig hunter knows where to get this vital source of protein. “A pool in a river where stones are filled with algae has no eel; it is found in the pool where some or all of the stones have been cleaned of algae,” said Datu Victorino Migketay Saway. This was just among the many examples that the leader of the Talaandig tribe cited as he discussed “culture as capital” and indigenous knowledge as “a science of the common sense” during a national symposium on “Building and upholding indigenous knowledge” held in Baguio City, the Philippines, from 12-14 November. Read the article …

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