Summary of IGC 36
July 4, 2018
WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) concluded a week-long session on June 29, 2018. This was the second session under the new mandate for 2018-2019 and it addressed genetic resources.
An ad hoc expert group on genetic resources met on June 24, 2018, to address specific legal, policy or technical issues. It was co-chaired, in their personal capacities, by Mr. Pedro Roffe (Senior Fellow, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development) and Ms. Krisztina Kovacs (Policy Officer, European Commission), who reported to the IGC plenary as to the results of the ad hoc expert group’s work.
IGC 36 was chaired by Mr. Ian Goss of Australia, with Mr. Jukka Liedes of Finland and Mr. Faizal Chery Sidharta of Indonesia as Vice-Chairs. Participants from 96 countries and 28 observers attended the session.
Plenary, contact groups and informals on Agenda Item 7 (“Genetic Resources”)
On Agenda Item 7, the IGC requested Mr. Paul Kuruk (Ghana) and Ms. Lilyclaire Bellamy (Jamaica) to act as “Facilitators” and Ms. Margo Bagley (Mozambique) to act as a “Friend of the Chair”. Following the discussions of the ad hoc expert group, and the discussions at the IGC’s plenary, in “contact groups” (each comprising around 10 experts, including an indigenous expert) and during “informals”, the Facilitators and the Friend of the Chair presented to the plenary a Rev. 1 of the Consolidated Document Relating to Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources on June 27, 2018, and a Rev. 2 on June 29, 2018.
While the Member States were not all able to agree on transmission of the Rev. 2 to the next relevant session of the IGC (which will be IGC 40 in 2019), the Rev. 2 as prepared by the Facilitators and the Friend of the Chair will be reflected in the report of IGC 36.
The IGC Chair and the Secretariat reminded the IGC that the WIPO Voluntary Fund for Accredited Indigenous and Local Communities is in dire need of new contributions.
An indigenous panel, which addressed “Practical Measures Relating to Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources: Databases and Contracts – Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Perspectives”, was held on Monday morning. The speakers were:
- Mr. Aleksey Tsykarev, Member and Former Chairperson-Rapporteur of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Russian Federation
- Ms. Sue Noe, Attorney, Native American Rights Fund, United States of America.
New WIPO Resources
WIPO unveiled a new resource related to intellectual property and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions:
- A Guide to Intellectual Property Issues in Access and Benefit-sharing Agreements: This is a guide offering users and providers of genetic resources an accessible overview of intellectual property issues in access and benefit-sharing agreements.
The initial draft report of IGC 36 will be prepared and circulated by August 24, 2018.
Wend Wendland, Director of WIPO's Traditional Knowledge Division and Secretary of the IGC, sums up the session.