January 2012


WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC): Twentieth Session
14-22 February 2012 (Geneva, Switzerland)

Working documents for this session of the WIPO IGC are being posted progressively. The meeting will continue negotiations for an international instrument/instruments, focusing on intellectual property and genetic resources. Delegates will address: the draft objectives and principles relating to intellectual property and genetic resources; options for future work on intellectual property and genetic resources; preliminary draft articles on genetic resources proposed by the Like-Minded Countries; as well as prior proposals by Switzerland, Japan and the African Group. They will also discuss a draft study on observer participation. Visit the meeting’s webpage, including links to working documents …

WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC): Twenty-first session
16-20 April 2012 (Geneva, Switzerland)

This session will focus on traditional knowledge. Applications for accreditation as ad hoc observers must be submitted to the WIPO Secretariat by 16 February 2012. Visit the meeting’s webpage … More information on the accreditation process, including application forms … 

WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC): Twenty-second session
9-13 July 2012 (Geneva, Switzerland)

Applications for funding from the WIPO Voluntary Fund for Accredited Indigenous and Local Communities in view of IGC-22 must be submitted to the WIPO Secretariat by 16 February 2012. The session will address the subject of traditional cultural expressions. Only already accredited observers, which are representatives of local or indigenous communities, may apply for this funding. More information on the WIPO Voluntary Fund, including application forms …

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Open-ended Indigenous Peoples’ Brainstorming Meeting on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014
13-14 January 2012 (Copenhagen, Denmark)

The Copenhagen indigenous peoples’ brainstorming meeting was organized by the Greenland Government’s Representation in Copenhagen, the Sami Parliament of Norway and IWGIA. Around 30 indigenous peoples’ representatives and invited UN experts met to brainstorm about how best to secure indigenous peoples’ full participation in the planning and celebration of the 2014 UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya emphasized that the World Conference provides an opportunity for the development of measures for the direct participation of indigenous peoples in UN meetings; advancing greater and more concerted efforts within the UN system to advance the rights of indigenous peoples; promoting action at the national and local levels to secure the realization of indigenous peoples’ rights; and celebrating indigenous peoples and their contributions worldwide. The outcome of the Copenhagen meeting is a resolution affirming the importance of maintaining the standards established in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and outlining a set of minimum terms regarding indigenous peoples’ participation in the process, including the appointment by the UN of an indigenous co-facilitator who should work together with the State-appointed Ambassador, the setting up of an indigenous coordination group, and modalities for the accreditation of indigenous peoples delegations and the full recognition of indigenous peoples’ own preparatory processes and governing bodies. Read the IWGIA press release … Download the resolution [pdf] … Read a release on Anaya’s participation …

OHCHR Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section (IPMS) Newsletter
Issue 6, August-December 2011

This issue includes reports on, among other issues: the first interactive dialogue of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with the Human Rights Council; project proposals approved by the UN Indigenous Peoples Partnership (UNIPP) Policy Board; a meeting between IPMS, ILO, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and 15 Latin American National Human Rights Institutions, which discussed how national institutions could advance indigenous peoples’ rights, as well as a draft guide on UNDRIP; the activities of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples; news on UN Voluntary Funds of relevance to indigenous peoples; and the fourth session of the Forum on minority issues. Download the issue [pdf] …

Mayans Demand Voice in “Doomsday Tourism” Boom
IPS, 19 January 2012

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO: The indigenous people of southeast Mexico are demanding to be included in the official programmes planned for 2012 to take advantage of the world’s interest in the “Mayan prophecy”, while at the same time fearing that a “doomsday tourism” could damage and contaminate their sacred sites. The surge of global interest in Mayan civilization in 2012 is fuelled by interpretations that the Maya calendar predicted great catastrophes for 21 December 2012, bringing an end to civilization as we know it. But leaders and representatives of these indigenous people deny this prophecy. Read the article …

Arctic Story
Jenny E. Ross, Arirang TV, 2010

This documentary takes viewers to northwest Greenland, and to Siorapaluk, the northernmost settlement on Earth. It shows the majesty of the Arctic, the drama of melting glaciers and disappearing sea ice, and the poignant plight of the Inuit people as they struggle to preserve their traditional lifestyle in the face of climate change. View the documentary …

Understanding community-based REDD+ A manual for indigenous communities
Christian Erni and Maria Teresa Guia-Padilla
IWGIA and AIPP, December 2011 | ISBN: 978-87-92786-03-6

This manual will be useful for indigenous communities who are going to be affected by REDD+ projects, are considering to be part of a larger REDD+ scheme initiated by others, or are considering of having their own REDD+ project. It addresses basic knowledge about community-based REDD+, a simple guide on conducting independent carbon stock assessment and carbon monitoring, and steps in assessing readiness for REDD+. Download the manual [pdf] …

Understanding community-based REDD+ A manual for indigenous community trainers
Christian Erni and Maria Teresa Guia-Padilla (eds)
IWGIA and AIPP, December 2011 | ISBN: 978-87-92786-02-9

The purpose of this manual is to provide guidance to indigenous trainers to prepare and conduct trainings on community-based REDD+. These trainings should help communities acquire the knowledge and skills needed to take a decision on whether to join a REDD+ project, and if they do, to be able to fully and effectively participate in it. Download the manual [pdf] …

Overview of National and Regional Measures on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing: Challenges and Opportunities in Implementing the Nagoya Protocol
Jorge Cabrera Medaglia, Frederic Perron-Welch and Olivier Rukundo
Centre for International Sustainable Development Law Biodiversity & Biosafety Law Research Programme, December 2011

In light of the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS), it is important for countries that have or are in the process of putting in place national ABS measures to share their experiences in implementation. This study reviews the ABS measures in countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, the South Pacific, Africa, Europe and North America as well as the regional measures of the Andean Community, ASEAN and the African Union plus discussions in the EU and the Nordic countries. It examines the relevant laws and policies and their provisions on scope, prior informed consent, mutually agreed terms on benefit-sharing, compliance, and monitoring and enforcement as well as any access agreements that have been granted or relevant experience gained in the implementation of the ABS measures. It also presents a discussion and conclusions on the main legislative challenges to implementing the Nagoya Protocol on ABS. Finally, Appendix I summarizes national and regional ABS measures, and Appendix II has a chart providing a general overview of the national actions and information required to implement the different obligations of the Nagoya Protocol.

Many of the legislations examined in the paper address TK-related issues. Safeguarding or protecting the interests of ILCs over their knowledge and practices is often one of the objectives of ABS legislations. The Andean Community common regime, Peru, and Brazil’s regulations also recognize and protect the rights of the indigenous peoples to decide about their innovations, practices and knowledge associated with genetic resources. In some countries specific legislation exists to guarantee the right of Indigenous peoples over their TK or genetic resources located in their lands, in addition to the broader ABS measures (e.g. Venezuela, Panama, Peru, Philippines). Most ABS legislations require the applicant to obtain PIC of local communities for access to genetic resources on land that is owned or managed by local communities which have the established right to grant access to those resources. According to the ASEAN Framework Agreement, even if PIC is only given by the State/ State agency, the PIC process must provide for the active involvement of local communities and respect the customary laws, practices and protocols of local communities. However, very few laws set out procedures for obtaining PIC of ILCs. Costa Rica’s legislation nevertheless describes the content of the PIC and points out that the applicant has to meet with representatives of the place of access and with the ILCs in order to discuss the meaning and implications of access to genetic resources and the terms of the protection of TK. According to most ABS legislations, ILCs are also to be involved in the negotiation of benefit-sharing, including by entering into a benefit-sharing agreement with the applicant. Australia has developed model contracts as guide to assist parties establishing benefit-sharing agreements, which must notably include a copy of the agreement regarding the use of knowledge if any indigenous people’s knowledge of the access provider, or other group of indigenous people,  is to be used. Specific recognition of customary law or community protocols is provided indirectly in some ABS systems, but there is a lack of detailed guidance on these issues.

This is the first version of the study; a final version will be released in time for the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing, to be held from 9-13 April 2012, in Delhi, India. Download the paper [doc] …

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