This booklet is a report of the discussions, analyses and conclusions of a “Workshop on Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge and Rights of Indigenous Peoples” organized by the Tebtebba Foundation in coordination with TWN and GRAIN, held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 3-5 July 2003.
Since a workshop statement with the consensus of all the participants is still being processed, the recommendations in this booklet reflect only the views of the indigenous representatives in the workshop who are engaging with some processes of bodies like the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and, to a limited extent, the World Trade Organization.
Apart from trying to capture the wealth of experiences of the indigenous peoples of Africa, South America, Asia, the Pacific, the Arctic and North America in safeguarding and perpetuating biodiversity and traditional knowledge, the booklet also attempts to show how these efforts are linked with their overall struggles for their rights as indigenous peoples.
It also highlights their shared experiences on the ground in dealing with issues such as biopiracy, access and benefit sharing and traditional knowledge. It presents their insights on proposals and programs of action from the CBD, the “International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources” of the Food and Agriculture Organization and UN bodies dealing with indigenous peoples.
It concludes with common views and positions by most of the indigenous participants on how to deal with key problems, and follow-up and joint activities which they can carry out in their communities and organizations.
VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZ is the Director of Tebtebba Foundation - an indigenous peoples’ international NGO based in Baguio City in the Philippines which undertakes research on the impact of globalization on indigenous peoples. Victoria is an indigenous woman, a Kankana-ey Igorot from the Philippines. She has written many articles on indigenous women and on globalization as well as on the environment and development issues of indigenous peoples. She is the convenor of the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network. She is the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations. She is also the indigenous and gender advisor of TWN.
HERITAGE AND TRADIONAL KNOWLEDGE
2 IPRs REGIME AND TRADIONAL KNOWLEDGE
IPRs and traditional knowledge
Flaws of the IPRs regime
Concept of public domain
Concept of property
Breaking up of heritage and knowledge
3 THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION
Sui generis systems
Challenges to the WIPO-IGC
4 WTO TRIPS AGREEMENT
TRIPS and harmonization
Article 27.3(b) and the patenting of life
TRIPS and plant variety protection and sui generis systems
5. THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
National sovereignty principle
United Nations bodies
6. THE WAY FORWARD
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