About Intellectual Property IP Training IP Outreach IP for… IP and... IP in... Patent & Technology Information Trademark Information Industrial Design Information Geographical Indication Information Plant Variety Information (UPOV) IP Laws, Treaties & Judgements IP Resources IP Reports Patent Protection Trademark Protection Industrial Design Protection Geographical Indication Protection Plant Variety Protection (UPOV) IP Dispute Resolution IP Office Business Solutions Paying for IP Services Negotiation & Decision-Making Development Cooperation Innovation Support Public-Private Partnerships The Organization Working with WIPO Accountability Patents Trademarks Industrial Designs Geographical Indications Copyright Trade Secrets WIPO Academy Workshops & Seminars World IP Day WIPO Magazine Raising Awareness Case Studies & Success Stories IP News WIPO Awards Business Universities Indigenous Peoples Judiciaries Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Economics Gender Equality Global Health Climate Change Competition Policy Sustainable Development Goals Enforcement Frontier Technologies Mobile Applications Sports Tourism PATENTSCOPE Patent Analytics International Patent Classification ARDI – Research for Innovation ASPI – Specialized Patent Information Global Brand Database Madrid Monitor Article 6ter Express Database Nice Classification Vienna Classification Global Design Database International Designs Bulletin Hague Express Database Locarno Classification Lisbon Express Database Global Brand Database for GIs PLUTO Plant Variety Database GENIE Database WIPO-Administered Treaties WIPO Lex - IP Laws, Treaties & Judgments WIPO Standards IP Statistics WIPO Pearl (Terminology) WIPO Publications Country IP Profiles WIPO Knowledge Center WIPO Technology Trends Global Innovation Index World Intellectual Property Report PCT – The International Patent System ePCT Budapest – The International Microorganism Deposit System Madrid – The International Trademark System eMadrid Article 6ter (armorial bearings, flags, state emblems) Hague – The International Design System eHague Lisbon – The International System of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications eLisbon UPOV PRISMA Mediation Arbitration Expert Determination Domain Name Disputes Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) Digital Access Service (DAS) WIPO Pay Current Account at WIPO WIPO Assemblies Standing Committees Calendar of Meetings WIPO Official Documents Development Agenda Technical Assistance IP Training Institutions COVID-19 Support National IP Strategies Policy & Legislative Advice Cooperation Hub Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) Technology Transfer Inventor Assistance Program WIPO GREEN WIPO's Pat-INFORMED Accessible Books Consortium WIPO for Creators WIPO ALERT Member States Observers Director General Activities by Unit External Offices Job Vacancies Procurement Results & Budget Financial Reporting Oversight

Using Geographical Indications to Protect and Promote Culture

June 10, 2021

On May 26, 2021, WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge Division organized a webinar on the use of geographical indications (GIs) by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities as part of the WIPO webinar series How to Protect and Promote Your Culture. Two members of indigenous peoples and local communities shared their communities’ experiences with this particular intellectual property tool.

Photo: (left to right): Anna Sinkevich (WIPO), Jean Sagna (ASAPID, Senegal), Alfonsa Horeng, (Women’s Weaver Cooperative in Lepo Lorun, Indonesia), Delphine Marie-Vivien (CIRAD, France).

Around the world, indigenous peoples and local communities have developed a wide variety of traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs). Although the intellectual property system does not offer solutions to all the challenges faced by indigenous peoples and local communities, it does offer tools that can be used to somehow protect and promote (or prevent the misappropriation of) these traditional forms of innovation and creativity.

Following the first English session of the webinar series on collective marks and certification marks held on March 24, WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge Division organized a second English session, this time focusing on the use of GIs by indigenous peoples and local communities.

This interactive webinar was again moderated by WIPO Indigenous Fellow Anna Sinkevich, overseeing presentations on the GI Tenun Ikat Sikka (Indonesia) and Madd de Casamance (Senegal). Ms. Alfonsa Horeng of the Women’s Weaver Cooperative of Lepo Lorun in Indonesia and Mr. Jean Sagna of the Association for the Support of Peach and Development Initiatives (ASAPID) in Senegal shared how their communities are using – or working towards registering – their communities’ GIs.

Photo: Women’s Weaver Cooperative of Lepo Lorun

For us, traditional weaving has three important purposes: to preserve our traditional techniques, our ritual customs and the philosophy behind the design and patterns; to create a structure for the economic empowerment of our women weavers, including the younger generations, in order to preserve the tradition; and to share the Ikat-weaving culture with the global markets.

Alfonsa Horeng, Women’s Weaver Cooperative of Lepo Lorun, Indonesia
Photo: Economie Territoires et Développement Services

In the beginning, people were harvesting the Madd individually. So, we gathered all the stakeholders and created the [Association pour la Protection et la Promotion de l’Indication Géographique Madd de Casamance (APPIGMAC)]. The purpose of this Association is to promote the Madd, protect the forest, raise awareness and provide women with market access. Furthermore, we bring together the stakeholders – the customers, the harvesters, the collectors – to sit and discuss what they can do for the Madd de Casamance.

Jean Sagna, ASAPID, Senegal

Intellectual property expert, Ms. Delphine Marie-Vivien, Deputy Director of the Joint Research Unit “Innovation and Development in Agriculture and Food” (UMR Innovation), French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), France, highlighted key concepts linked to geographical indications and how these tools can be useful to the particular needs of indigenous peoples and local communities.

Geographical indications are well adapted for the preservation and the promotion of traditional knowledge and the associated biodiversity of indigenous peoples and local communities, because […] it is based on collective traditions – old traditions. It’s a way to protect, to preserve the collective traditions while allowing some modernization.

Delphine Marie-Vivien, Deputy Director, UMR Innovation, CIRAD, France

The presentations were followed by a questions and answers session between the guest speakers and the participants.

Background of the Webinar Series: How to Protect and Promote Your Culture

The webinar series How to Protect and Promote Your Culture is inspired by the WIPO publication Protect and Promote Your Culture - A Practical Guide to Intellectual Property for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. The webinar series is primarily addressed to indigenous peoples and local communities, focusing on some of the main intellectual property tools that can be useful for them.

We trust that the series will be of interest to indigenous peoples and local communities, government officials, intellectual property experts and others who wish to learn more about the application of intellectual property rights in this particular area. Each webinar will address a specific intellectual property right or intellectual property tool. We intend for the series to be very practical in its approach.

The next session of the webinar series, taking place in Spanish on June 30, 2021, will also focus on geographical indications.

Sign up for WIPO's Traditional Knowledge Updates to stay up-to-date on the activities and upcoming events of WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge Division.

Links to Additional Information on the Webinar