Governments in industrial countries regularly put pressure on developing countries to introduce stringent plant variety protection (PVP) regimes and to adhere to the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention, without duly considering its consequences on the enjoyment of human rights of vulnerable groups such as small-scale farmers and in particular women.
News and blogs
These photos document a gathering of indigenous groups from China, Bhutan, and Peru. They met in the spring to discuss climate change and plan a crop exchange program.
First published on August 18, by Adam Kerby in YES! Magazine.
Indigenous people have the solutions to climate change. They should be allowed to speak out at the UN climate talks.
First published on 29 July, by Alejandro Argumedo in Responding to Climate Change (RTCC).
Modern breeding techniques, GM crop imports and commercial seeds mean that many of China’s local varieties are under threat
Article in Langscape Magazine explores these concepts in the context of the SIFOR project.
A side event hosted by the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) this week called on negotiators at the World Intellectual Property Organization to include innovation by small-scale farmers and asked for complementarity of several international instruments dealing with this issue.
Local newspaper reports on the innovations identified by SIFOR project communities in Kilifi and Kwale counties.
The meeting of the Working Group on Article 8(j) in Montreal (7-11 October), reaffirmed the need to recognize and integrate traditional knowledge systems of indigenous and local communities into the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Peruvian indigenous farmers have been angered by a government research agency that has claimed it owns intellectual property (IP) rights over more than fifty traditional varieties of potatoes bred in the Peruvian Andes.
This week, from 24 to 28 September, witnesses the opening in Oman of the Fifth Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, also known as the seed treaty.
On 24th July 2013, the first SIFOR stakeholder workshop in the Central Himalayas brought together over 100 participants - leading scientists, local farmers, state governments and NGOs.
Biocultural heritage, as a concept, has evolved in response to traditional knowledge policies that have tended only to protect the intellectual component of knowledge systems, and not the equally crucial biological, cultural and landscape components. It reflects indigenous communities’ holistic worldview, where everything is inter-dependent and inter-connected.
The International Labour Organisation is a specialised UN agency that aims to improve living and working conditions. ILO Convention 169, concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, entered into force in 1991.
It calls on governments to develop systematic actions to protect the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples, including their social, economic and cultural rights, customs, traditions and institutions.
The research team for the Protecting Community Rights over Traditional Knowledge: Implications of Customary Laws and Practices project adopted the concept of 'collective biocultural heritage' as the common vision to link the work in Peru, Panama, India, China and Kenya.
Based on this, the project developed a conceptual framework for assessing the conditions and trends affecting traditional knowledge, and the responses needed to address these.
UNESCO has developed a number of international conventions relating to the protection of cultural and intellectual heritage. The Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which came into force in April 2006, aims to safeguard oral traditions and expressions, including language, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, and knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe. However, it focuses only on intangible heritage.
A number of human rights conventions also provide useful instruments for protecting indigenous peoples’ rights, but in many cases they have not been ratified or fully implemented by governments. Furthermore, existing human rights legislation is mainly directed at individual rights. Perhaps the most important are: