Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities’ Engagement

WIPO’s engagement with indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) consists of a range of general and specific information, services and programs to assist indigenous peoples and local communities to participate in and benefit from WIPO’s activities with a view to better protect their traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs).

Participation of indigenous peoples in the WIPO IGC negotiations

The WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (the IGC) is undertaking text-based negotiations with the objective of finalizing an agreement on an international legal instrument(s) relating to intellectual property (IP) which will ensure the balanced and effective protection of genetic resources (GRs), TK and TCEs.

A number of mechanisms and facilities ensure the full and effective participation of accredited IPLCs’ representatives in the work of the IGC.

Delegates in discussions at the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore
Delegates in discussions at the IGC (Photo: WIPO/Berrod). More IGC photos on Flickr.

Accreditation

An ad hoc fast-track accreditation procedure for observers is available for IPLCs

Accredited IPLCs’ representatives may make submissions in relation to the IGC work.

WIPO Voluntary Fund

The WIPO Voluntary Fund facilitates the participation of accredited IPLCs' representatives in sessions of the IGC.

Indigenous panels

Presentations on indigenous and local community experiences delivered at sessions of the IGC by a panel of IPLCs representatives provide invaluable insight into the experiences, concerns and aspirations of IPLCs concerning the protection, promotion and preservation of TK, TCEs and GRs.

WIPO Indigenous Fellowship Program

WIPO’s Indigenous Fellowship Program – launched in 2009 – enables members of indigenous and local communities to work in WIPO's Traditional Knowledge Division on issues relevant to indigenous peoples.


				The current Indigenous Fellow, Ms. Rebecka Forsgren
One of the Indigenous Fellow, Ms. Rebecka Forsgren, assisting during the Indigenous Panel

Scholarships and other support for indigenous peoples participation in WIPO training activities

The WIPO Summer Schools provide an opportunity for university students and young professionals to acquire a deeper knowledge of IP, and how it can be used as a tool for sustainable development. WIPO funds the participation of selected indigenous peoples in its Summer Schools.

The WIPO Advanced Distance Learning Course on Intellectual Property, TK and TCEs provides technical information on key concepts and international, regional and national experiences, policy options and legal mechanisms available or under consideration for the intellectual property-like protection of TK and TCEs. The course is available free of charge for indigenous peoples.

Training and capacity building activities

Indigenous peoples and local communities benefit from WIPO’s training and capacity building activities in relation to the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions and the interaction between genetic resources and the intellectual property system.

Publications addressing indigenous peoples and local
communities’ needs and interests

WIPO publications facilitate the understanding of issues and available options in relation to the protection of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources. Specific publications address indigenous peoples and local communities needs and interests.

Protect and Promote Your Culture

A Practical Guide to Intellectual Property for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

Documenting Traditional Knowledge – A Toolkit

A range of easy-to-use checklists and other resources to help anyone considering a documentation project

IP and Genetic Resources, TK and TCEs

General information on the interface between IP and GRs, TK and TCEs