Biocultural Heritage

Promoting resilient farming systems and local economies

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The Nagoya Protocol and awareness raising measures

The Nagoya Protocol requires that:

Each Party shall take measures to raise awareness of the importance of genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, and related access and benefit-sharing issues” (Article 21).

Awareness raising measures may include:

  • organising meetings of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders and involving them in implementation of the Protocol;

  • establishing a help desk, and a national clearing house;

  • promoting voluntary codes of conduct, guidelines or best practices;

  • promoting exchanges of experience, education and training;

  • raising awareness of community protocols and procedures

IIED and partners have developed and promoted a number measures for awareness raising on traditional knowledge and genetic resource issues, as part of the project ‘Protecting community rights over traditional knowledge’:

  • An illustrated story book of a dialogue with a Yanadi healer addressing a series of questions on the issues (‘Spirit of the forest children’, in Telagu). This was useful to raise awareness of literate community members, universities and colleges.

  • An audio recording of a play was developed by Quechua facilitators, which set up a scenario of unauthorised access to community resources, to stimulate discussions in community groups on how to respond.

  • Local training courses were used to include the issues in modules for farming communities and local government officials in Eastern Himalayas, India.

  • Seed fairs were organised to exhibit local varieties and promote seed exchange amongst farmers and plant breeders in SW China. These enhanced awareness amongst both farmers and policy makers.

Engaging stakeholders in participatory processes to develop tools for TK protection and ABS can be powerful measures for raising awareness of the importance of genetic resources and TK amongst indigenous and local communities, plant breeders, policy makers and consumers. For example, the development of community biocultural registers; value addition and marketing for biocultural products; and Participatory Plant Breeding – See Tools and Materials.