The work of the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) has led to the development of sets of draft provisions for the protection of traditional cultural expressions/folklore (TCEs) and for the protection of traditional knowledge (TK) against misappropriation and misuse. It has also developed a Text of a Draft International Legal Instrument Relating to Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Resources.
|Session||Traditional knowledge||Traditional cultural expressions||Genetic resources|
The draft provisions draw upon a wide range of community, national and regional experiences, and have been developed over several years by and in consultation with member states, indigenous peoples and other traditional and cultural communities, civil society organizations and a range of other interested parties.
While the draft objectives and principles have no formal status, they illustrate some of the perspectives and approaches that are guiding work in this area, and could suggest possible frameworks for the protection of TCEs and TK against misappropriation and misuse. These draft materials are being used as points of reference in a range of national, regional and international policy discussions and standard-setting processes.
In subsequent sessions, the IGC reviewed and redrafted the provisions taking into account comments from Member States, indigenous peoples and other traditional and cultural communities, civil society organizations and a range of other interested parties received during several consultation processes:
|Process / Start Date||Consultation||Comments|
|First commenting process (November 2004 – February 2005)|
|Second commenting process (April – December 2006)|
|Third commenting process (December 2009 – May 2010)|
Why are there two sets of provisions? Should TK and TCEs not be treated holistically?
There are two distinct sets of provisions: one dealing with TCEs (or expressions of folklore), and the other with TK. This responds to the choice made in many cases to address distinctly the specific legal and policy questions raised by these two areas.
However, the draft materials are prepared in the understanding that for many communities these are closely related, even integral, aspects of respect for and protection of their cultural and intellectual heritage. The two sets of draft provisions are therefore complementary and closely coordinated. Taken together, they do form a holistic approach to protection. This reflects existing practice at the international and national levels.
Some jurisdictions protect both TCEs and TK in a single instrument. Others use a range of laws and instruments to address the two areas distinctly. Some laws also address specific aspects of these two areas, such as biodiversity-related TK or indigenous arts and crafts.
The draft objectives and principles acknowledge those diverse choices and facilitate a holistic approach.