Thursday, November 11, 2010

[EmergingEthnoNetwork] Traditional Knowledge Bulletin

Traditional Knowledge Bulletin

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Meeting review: TK at the UN Human Rights Council

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 08:27 AM PST

UN Human Rights Council adopts two resolutions related to indigenous peoples' rights
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, 20 October 2010

The Human Rights Council held its 15th regular session from 13 September – 1 October 2010. Outcomes included a resolution on human rights and indigenous peoples, in which the Council decided to hold at its 18th session a half-day panel on the role of languages and culture in the promotion and protection of the well-being and identity of indigenous peoples. The Council further recommended that the General Assembly approve the expansion of the mandate of the Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations so that it can be used to assist representatives of indigenous communities and organizations to attend sessions of the Council and of treaty bodies. Download the resolution [pdf] …

Meeting review: Indigenous issues at the UN General Assembly

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 08:24 AM PST

65th General Assembly – Third Committee: 18th and 19th Meetings
18 October 2010 (UN Headquarters, New York, USA)

Addressing the Assembly, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James Anaya stressed that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples "has a significant normative weight grounded its high degree of legitimacy as a product of decades of struggle and advocacy by indigenous peoples." He added that "that normative weight is augmented by the Declaration's grounding in the human rights principles of the United Nations Charter and other international treaties." He said UNDRIP's implementation was one of three key areas he addressed during his work in the past year, the others being the right to development with culture and identity, and the right to participation.

Several points of relevance to TK were made during the ensuing discussion. The EU stressed that climate change especially affected indigenous peoples by threatening their survival and traditional lifestyles and cultures. CARICOM reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the development of the region's indigenous populations through the preservation of their culture and identity, and that CARICOM Member States continued to work to mainstream indigenous perspectives in its various national development agendas. The Nordic countries said they were in the process of translating the Declaration into their national languages and indigenous languages. The Russian Federation drew attention to cooperation with WIPO to protect traditional folklore. Nicaragua highlighted bilingual education in all indigenous mother tongues. Argentina also highlighted educational and radio programmes in indigenous languages. The International Organization for Migration stressed that migration might result in dilution of indigenous people's customs and culture, and special protections were necessary to relieve the pressure for assimilation. Read the UN release …

Resource: Book on sacred natural sites

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 08:21 AM PST

Sacred Natural Sites: Conserving nature and culture
Bas Verschuuren, Robert Wild, Jeffrey McNeely and Gonzalo Oviedo (eds)
Earthscan (October 2010) | ISBN 9781849711678

Launched at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, this book was part of an event organized through a collaboration between ETC-COMPAS and IUCN dedicated to promoting sacred natural sites. It is based on experience from around the world which highlights the importance of sacred natural sites in biodiversity conservation and the long-standing relationship between nature and people. The book contains 27 chapters contributed by 55 authors, focusing on a wide geographical spread of both iconic and lesser known examples of sacred natural sites, in and outside protected areas, including: the sacred groves of the Western Ghats (India), the sacred mountains of Sagarmatha/Chomolongma (Mt Everest, Nepal, Tibet – and China), the Golden Mountains of Altai (Russia), the Holy Island of Lindisfarne (UK) and the sacred lakes of the Niger Delta (Nigeria). The authors highlight that sacred natural sites, including areas recognized as sacred by indigenous and traditional peoples and areas recognized by religions or faiths as places for worship and remembrance, are the world's oldest conservation areas and contain high levels of biological and cultural diversity. They protect a wide variety of habitats, guard traditional customs, practices and knowledge related to biodiversity conservation and promote mutual respect between people and nature. However, this global natural and social conservation network is not sufficiently understood or recognized today. It is under-funded and increasingly under threat due to ignorance, overconsumption and overexploitation of resources. The authors also highlight the need to recognize the crucial role that custodians of these areas play in the protection of their natural and cultural diversity. Read the IUCN press release … Purchase the book from Earthscan …

This week in review … Commentaries on the Nagoya Protocol on ABS

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 08:19 AM PST

Biodiversity Convention adopts landmark decisions; doubts prevail on ABS Protocol
TWN Info Service on Intellectual Property Issues, 2 November 2010

Authored by Chee Yoke Ling, this article provides an overview of CBD COP 10, focusing on the new Strategic Plan and targets for 2011-2020, mobilization of financial resources, and the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization. Read the article …

Mixed reactions on new access and benefit sharing treaty
Third World Network, 3 November 2010

In this article, Chee Yoke Ling notes that the palpable relief of adopting a number of major decisions at CBD COP 10 was accompanied by lingering doubts over the new treaty on access and benefit sharing. She provides an overview of negotiations and statements made during the closing plenary on the Nagoya Protocol, as well as solutions reached, and possible interpretations, on issues outstanding till the last day of the meeting. Such items include the Protocol's scope, the issue of utilization and derivatives, publicly available traditional knowledge, the issue of pathogens and emergency situations, and checkpoints in relation to compliance. Read the article …

CBD Reaches Agreement on Access and Benefit Sharing, But Some Question its Effectiveness
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, 3 November 2010

After twelve days of up and down discussions, CBD COP 10 concluded with agreement on a protocol on access and benefit sharing (ABS) regarding genetic resources used in inventions, as well as accords on financing and a strategic plan Caution, however, mingled with the celebration and relief. "The ABS Protocol is only a starting point. Whether it will result in the viable regime against biopiracy now depends on the implementation," one delegate told Bridges. The African Group formally made a similar point in the closing plenary, stating for the record that the protocol was simply a first step for moving towards the implementation of the Convention's third objective, which is the "fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources." Other countries called the protocol "imperfect" and "incomplete," though nonetheless an "important step" and "milestone achievement." While a certain degree of creative ambiguity is a hallmark of international accords, the text of the ABS protocol has left experts puzzled about what exactly has been agreed on for many critical issues, including the substantive and temporal scope of the agreement, dealing with derivatives, disclosure requirements and the relationship with other processes, giving rise to a range of partially conflicting interpretations. Read the article …

Funding opportunity: Call for proposals for the UN Democracy Fund

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 08:16 AM PST

The United Nations Democracy Fund opens applications window for Fifth Round on 15 November
UNDEF, 5 November 2010

The United Nations Democracy Fund will open its window for new project proposals from civil society. Projects may be submitted online from 15 November to 31 December 2010 at UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. Projects are two years long and full under: community development; rule of law and human rights; tools for democratization; women; youth; and media. Visit UNDEF website … Further information on the application process …

Funding opportunity: WIPO IGC Working Groups

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 08:14 AM PST

WIPO Voluntary Fund
WIPO, 22 October 2010

The Secretariat of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) calls for applications for funding for the meetings of the Intersessional Working Groups on Traditional Knowledge (TK) and on Genetic Resources, established by the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore. Only already accredited observers, which are representatives of indigenous and local communities, may apply for this funding. Applications must be submitted by 19 November 2010 to the WIPO Secretariat. Further information … Download the application form for the IWG meeting on TK [doc] …  Download the application form for the IWG meeting on genetic resources [doc] …

Resource: Human Ecology article on indigenous use of fire and forest loss in Venezuela

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 08:12 AM PST

Indigenous Use of Fire and Forest Loss in Canaima National Park, Venezuela. Assessment of and Tools for Alternative Strategies of Fire Management in Pemón Indigenous Lands
Bibiana A. Bilbao, Alejandra V. Leal, Carlos L. Méndez
Human Ecology (2010), vol. 38, no. 5, doi 10.1007/s10745-010-9344-0

In Canaima National Park (CNP), Venezuela, a protected area inhabited by the Pemón people, sociocultural and demographic changes have contributed to the apparent unsustainable use of fire, leading to forest and habitat loss. This over-use of fire, together with increased forest vulnerability to fire as a result of global climate change, could put both ecosystems and human well-being at risk. The conflict over fire use derives from the fact that whereas the Pemón depend for their livelihood on the use of fire for shifting cultivation and hunting, the policy of the CNP government agencies is fire exclusion (although this is not effectively enforced). Nevertheless, recent ecological studies have revealed that the creation of a mosaic of patches with different fire histories could be used to create firebreaks that reduce the risk of the wildfires that threaten the vulnerable and diverse savanna-forest transition areas. This technique imitates the traditional cooperative savanna burning strategies of the Pemón. By linking research on knowledge systems with management policies, the impasse over fire in the CNP might be avoided. The experiment showed that the articulation of traditional and scientific knowledge is a promising strategy for the formulation of environmental policies for effective fire management in the CNP that could be more successful for forest conservation as well as conservation of Pemón cultural integrity, than the fire suppression approach. Read the abstract …

Resource: October 2010 Issue of Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 08:11 AM PST

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
NISCAIR publications, vol. 9 no. 4, October 2010

The October 2010 issue of the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge includes several articles, including on: preparation techniques of pigments for traditional mural paintings of Kerala; plant patterns of silk based needlework; indigenous fish processing and preservation practices amongst women in Southwestern Nigeria; pest management beliefs and practices of Manipuri rice farmers in Barak Valley, Assam; harvest and processing of Makhana (Euryale ferox Salisb.); biological geographical indicators of traditional knowledge based products and green technology from Arunachal Pradesh; antibacterial activity of medicinal plants of Northern Peru; and traditional medicine of the Nicobarese. Read the issue [website] …


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