World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Guide to protecting traditional knowledge

Press release: Guide to protecting traditional knowledge and culture published

Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, Monday November 13, 2006:
How can Pacific Island countries and territories protect their culture and traditions from unfair exploitation?

An important - and free - handbook published today gives a pathway to policy-makers looking to protect indigenous culture by legal means. The book is called The Guidelines: Guidelines for developing national legislation for the protection of traditional knowledge and expressions of culture based on the Pacific Model Law 2002.

Produced by the Cultural Development Bureau of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community with the support of the New Zealand government, the 90-page book outlines issues that policy-makers need to consider when developing national legislation to protect traditional knowledge and expressions of culture from theft and misuse.

“Most Pacific Islands countries and territories don’t have legal tools to protect their expressions of culture and their intellectual property,“ says Jimmie Rodgers, SPC’s Director-General.

However, appropriation and commercialism of Pacific culture by non-Pacific people and entities is widespread.

“For example, traditional Solomon Islands music was used, without permission being sought, for a commercial compact disc produced in Europe,” says Dr Rodgers. “Traditional Tongan designs have been found on wrapping paper in shops in New York.

“All too often, the owners of the expressions of culture are not asked for permission and they don’t share in any of the commercial benefits. Too often, things are used out of their cultural context.”

Dr Rodgers adds: “This is not only unfair, it is often very upsetting for the people who own or are custodians of the knowledge. As manifestations of intellectual creativity, traditional knowledge and expressions of culture deserve to be accorded the same legal protection that is provided to other forms of intellectual property.”

New Zealand's Associate Commerce Minister, Judith Tizard, also welcomed the release of the guidelines.

"I am delighted that the New Zealand Government has been able to support the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in this initiative. The preservation, protection and promotion of traditional knowledge is crucial for Pacific communities.

“Traditional knowledge is integral to the lives of Pacific people and is critical to their health, culture, identity, education, food security and natural resources management."

According to Rhonda Griffiths, SPC’s Cultural Development Adviser, the handbook is designed to help policymakers consider their options as they explore the legal framework offered in the “Pacific Model Law”, its full title The Model Law for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Culture.

The model law was developed by Pacific legal and cultural experts with the Cultural Development Bureau and endorsed by Pacific Ministers of Culture in 2002.

Countries are encouraged to adapt the law to suit their situations, and Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Palau have all taken concrete steps towards implementation.

* For a copy of The Guidelines, see www.spc.int/culture

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More Than Half A Million

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More than Half a Million People with Life-Saving Aid More>>

Israeli Plans To Expand Its Illegal Settlement Enterprises

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, strongly denounced Israeli plans to expand its illegal settlement enterprise by approving the construction of 2,561 units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos. More>>

ALSO:

Ecuador: Villagers Plan To Seize Chevron's $106M Arbitral Award

QUITO, ECUADOR, Sep. 30 /CSRwire/ - In what could be a huge boost to their campaign to force Chevron to comply with a $9.5 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador, rainforest villagers plan to enforce a court order directing them to take possession ... More>>

World Grossly Ill-Prepared To Deal Ebola Outbreak

Leaders from Sierra Leone and Liberia, the two countries, along with Guinea at the frontlines of the battle against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa, urged the General Assembly today ensure the United Nations mounted a stronger, better coordinated response “to end this grave threat to our collective survival.”More>>

ALSO:

  • Save The Children - Save the Children Builds Its First Ebola Treatment Centre


  • Israel’s Netanyahu Warns Against ‘Militant Islam’

    29 September 2014 – From the podium of the General Assembly today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world of the grave threat he said it faced from militant Islam’s desire to dominate the planet, be they Sunni extremists or ... More>>

    Deputy PM of Syria Victims Of ISIL Brutality 'Waiting On Us To Act'

    As the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant began carrying their slaughter in the Middle East, “they might have surprised many of the countries present here, but not…us,” the Deputy Prime Minister of Syria told the United Nations General Assembly, underscoring today that the time has come for the world to stand united and tackle the threat head-on.More>>

    Not A Single Child Untouched By Recent Gaza Conflict

    There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behaviour at school, an independent United Nations human rights expert said todayMore>>


    Ebola: UN Readies To Start Work As Death Toll Surpasses 3,000

    Ebola response: medical supplies, including protective equipment and essential medicine, are loaded onto trucks at the Lungi International Airport in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/Sulaiman Stephens More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news