Owning Inheritance: Ethical and Legal Implications of Traditional Knowledge Studies
14 December 2011 (UNU-IAS, Yokohama, Japan)

In the last twenty years or so, academics, industries, lawyers, and policymakers have become increasingly aware that locally sustained knowledge and wisdom can help enhance our coping strategies for rapidly changing environmental conditions. Hasty actions to test this hypothesis by researchers and industries have created ethical and legal problems with indigenous and local communities, especially regarding the questions as to who owns locally sustained knowledge and wisdom and to what extent researchers and industries can take advantage of local co-operation. This symposium gathered experts who have worked extensively with indigenous and local communities for research, who shared their experience and reflected on the future of research related to traditional knowledge/wisdom. Among the speakers, Dianne C. Newell presented three studies on TK in First Nations Communities on coastal British Columbia; Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana presented on TK and transdisciplinarity; Noemi Miyasaka Porro addressed the issue of traditional communities as “subject of rights” and the commoditization of knowledge; and Kenichi Matsui addressed questions regarding who defines and who protects TK. Visit the event’s website, including links to archived video and audio presentations …