September 2012


Fiftieth series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO
1-9 October 2012 (Geneva, Switzerland)

Among several institutional and financial issues, the meeting will address matters concerning the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC). The General Assembly is expected to take stock of and consider the negotiating texts and progress made, decide on convening a Diplomatic Conference, and consider the need for additional meetings. Visit the meeting website, including link to webcast … Read the meeting’s documents … Download the document on the IGC [pdf] …

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Council starts dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples and Expert Mechanism on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
UN media release, 18 September 2012

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: On 18 September, the Human Rights Council started a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, and the Chairperson of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Wilton Littlechild. Special Rapporteur James Anaya presented his fifth report to the Human Rights Council, which described his activities in promoting good practices, responding to cases of alleged human rights violations, country assessments and thematic studies. He also presented his reports on the situation of indigenous peoples in Argentina and in the United States. Despite the positive developments in many places, Anaya remained concerned about the reality of ongoing struggles and violations of indigenous peoples’ rights throughout the world.

Expert Mechanism Chairperson Wilton Littlechild said that the principal study of the Expert Mechanism for the last year focused on the role of languages and culture in the promotion and protection of the rights and identity of indigenous peoples. The Council was urged to stress the importance of the inclusion of indigenous peoples in all aspects of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, including preparatory meetings, the outcome document, and all Human Rights Council sessions. Dalee Sambo Dorough, representative of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, urged governments to support the participation of indigenous peoples in the forthcoming 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and appealed to public and private donors to support the Fund. Read the release … Read the statement of the Special Rapporteur and watch the video …

A new momentum for living heritage in Central American countries
UNESCO release, 20 September 2012

PARIS, FRANCE: Thanks to Spain’s contribution to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua are working with UNESCO to strengthen their institutional capacities for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in their countries. The project, which is part of the UNESCO global strategy to strengthen national capacities for safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage, focuses to the revision of policy and legislative frameworks and the development of inventory systems to identify and safeguard the rich diversity of knowledge systems, rituals and cultural practices which communities of the sub-region wish to transmit to future generations. Read the release …

Sustainable diets and biodiversity: directions and solutions for policy, research and action
Barbara Burlingame and Sandro Dernini (eds)
FAO and Bioversity International, 2012 | E-ISBN 978-92-5-107288-2 (PDF)

This book presents the current state of thought on the common path of sustainable diets and biodiversity, and addresses the linkages among agriculture, health, the environment and food industries. The book identifies the urgent need to develop and promote strategies for sustainable diets, emphasizing the positive role of food biodiversity in human nutrition and poverty alleviation. Its chapters are based on the presentations given at the International Scientific Symposium on Biodiversity and Sustainable Diets, organized by FAO and Bioversity International from 3-5 November 2010, in Rome, Italy. Several chapters touch upon traditional knowledge-related topics, including: dynamic conservation of globally important agricultural heritage systems for a sustainable agriculture and rural development; biodiversity and sustainability of indigenous peoples’ foods and diets; traditional food systems in assuring food security in Nigeria; and biocultural diversity and the Mediterranean diet. View the table of contents … Download the book [pdf] …

Indigenous Knowledge
Sarah Johnson (ed), Themes in Environmental History 3, The White Horse Press, 2012 | ISBN: 978-1-874267-68-3

This book investigates how indigenous peoples from various cultures interact with, and conceptualize their environments, past and present. It offers accounts of indigenous conservation practices and traditional environmental knowledge, alongside challenging explorations of how knowledge is filtered through ideologies and subjectivities, from the Western scientific worldview to individual memory. Chapters address case studies in several parts of the world, under the following sections: defining indigeneity; indigenous conservation, beliefs and practices; indigenous subjectivities, perception, myth, memory; and cultural collisions and competing knowledges. Download the book [pdf] …

Observation and Ecology: Broadening the scope of science to understand a complex world
Rafe Sagarin and Anibal Pauchard, Island Press, July 2012, ISBN: 9781597268264

The need to understand and address large-scale environmental problems that are difficult to study in controlled environments – issues ranging from climate change to overfishing to invasive species – is driving the field of ecology in new and important directions. This bookdocuments that transformation, exploring how scientists and researchers are expanding their methodological toolbox to incorporate an array of new and reexamined observational approaches – from traditional ecological knowledge to animal-borne sensors to genomic and remote-sensing technologies – to track, study, and understand current environmental problems and their implications. The authors examine what observational approaches to ecology are and where they fit in the context of ecological science. They consider the full range of observational abilities we have available to us and explore the challenges and practical difficulties of using a primarily observational approach to achieve scientific understanding. They also show how observations can be a bridge from ecological science to education, environmental policy, and resource management. The book aims to play a key role in understanding our changing planet and the consequences of human activities on ecological processes, and to serve as an important resource for future scientists and conservation leaders who are seeking a more holistic and applicable approach to ecological science. Visit the book’s website … Purchase the book from Island Press …

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) – E-Learning Series on International Frameworks that Support Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities and Their Territories and Areas
Natural Justice, 2012

This draft e-module seeks to prepare communities, especially communities developing biocultural community protocols, to engage proactively with the international framework of REDD+. It briefly describes the rationale behind and plans for REDD+; looks at the key issues that have emerged around REDD+, focusing especially on the concerns with its current status and the safeguards that are being developed to attempt to protect community rights; and looks at the current forms in which REDD+ is being implemented.

The document is not final and any comments can be directed to: holly (at) naturaljustice.org and harry (at) naturaljustice.org. Read the release by Natural Justice … Download the draft e-module [pdf] …

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