The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)and the Intergovernmental Committee: Developments on Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions

The Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc.
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Journal Article
Intellectual Property Forum, 2013, 2013 (92), pp. 37 - 48
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The past 20 years has seen Indigenous or traditional knowledge take centre stage in discourses on the conservation of biological diversity, sustainable socio-economic development and poverty alleviation in developing countries. It is these countries that contain the majority of mega-biologically diverse regions in the world with Australia being one of two exceptions to the rule. The utility of knowledge in the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources, held by traditional custodians of land, is specifically addressed in the Convention on Biological Diversity 1992 (CBD). Articles 8 (j), I 10 (C)2 and 18 (4)3 of the CBD recognise the significance of such traditional knowledge and custom. Equally, the need to "respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles" ,4 "encourage customary use"s and "methods of cooperation"6 are emphasised in the context of prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms with a view to the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of such knowledge
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