Organised by ICTSD

At the Third Global Forum on Human Development, Paris, France, 17 January 2005

Description | Programme | Participants | Documentation



Two of the issues that have acquired increasing importance in different forums during the last few years are the so-called trade of cultural goods and the protection of traditional knowledge. While there are many synergies between the two issues, the first is related trade of collective expressions in the form of cultural goods and the second is more related to the protection of knowledge, innovations and practices of the indigenous and local communities, particularly with respect to the relation thereof to biological diversity.

The trade of cultural goods has gain terrain in consumer's acceptance rapidly. Bollywood, Chinese, Latin American and Canadian films are reaching international markets and films festivals. Music from the Caribbean, Africa, Latin American, India and the Middle East are being mixed with westerns tunes and expanding their market share in Europe, United Stated and even Japan. Also it has been fully recognized that the indigenous and local efforts to protect and enhance biological diversity throughout time, has allowed the further development of new crops, dyes and colorants, perfumes, cosmetic, handicrafts and other products that have been extensively used by humankind as a whole, and disseminated among different cultures.

Evidence indicates that throughout the years, producers of cultural goods and indigenous communities have received very little recognition (or perhaps none), in actual terms, for these contributions and their intellectual efforts in this respect.Currently, there are more than 12 national laws with different sui generic approaches dealing with the protection and preservation of traditional methods of productions and traditional knowledge. Examples are Andean countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela), Brazil, Costa Rica, France, Philippines, India, Thailand, Tunisia, Portugal, etc.

While these new sui generic approaches present opportunities, questions have been raised about the appropriateness and the effectiveness of the solutions put forward so far. This workshop will analyze the latest developments at the international level regarding trade in cultural goods and the protection of traditional knowledge (WIPO, WTO, UNESCO), latest developments at the national level and what option could be used for protection, preserve and commercialize cultural goods and traditional knowledge in and sustainable manner.


© ICTSD 2004 - Last Update: 05-Oct-2009