Traditional knowledge collection, preservation, protection and access


Published on

Published in: Technology, Education
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Traditional knowledge collection, preservation, protection and access

  1. 1. Traditional  Knowledge Collection, Preservation, Protection and Access Dr. H. K. Kaul Director, DELNET, New Delhi Email:
  2. 2. <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul>Traditional knowledge is the knowledge  that we receive  through  <ul><li>Word of mouth </li></ul><ul><li>Social, cultural and religious customs </li></ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Age-old  skills </li></ul><ul><li>Habits </li></ul><ul><li>Local languages </li></ul><ul><li>Arts </li></ul><ul><li>Crafts </li></ul><ul><li>Folklore etc </li></ul>
  3. 3. Federico Mayor. Director General, Unesco: “ The indigenous people of the world possess an immense knowledge of their environments, based on centuries of living close to nature.  Living in and from the richness and variety of complex ecosystems, they have an understanding of the properties of plants and animals, the functioning of ecosystems and the techniques for using and managing them that is particular and often detailed.  In rural communities in developing countries, locally occurring species are relied on for many - sometimes all - foods, medicines, fuel, building materials and other products.  Equally, peoples knowledge and perceptions of the environment, and their relationships with it, are often important elements of cultural identity.”
  4. 4. Collection Traditional knowledge <ul><li>Collective in nature </li></ul><ul><li>Property of the entire community </li></ul><ul><li>Transmitted through  cultural and traditional information exchange </li></ul><ul><li>methods </li></ul><ul><li>Transmitted orally </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional literature already existing in different fields </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Methods of Collecting TK The Principles <ul><li>Respect the stakeholders and communities </li></ul><ul><li>  Clarify the objectives of data collection </li></ul><ul><li>  Develop an interactive approach and communication between the team and the stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>  Recognize the limitations of information </li></ul><ul><li>  Recognize informants' biases </li></ul><ul><li>  Recognize and minimise biases of the team members including gender, education/discipline background, language, outsider priorities </li></ul><ul><li>  Take detailed notes </li></ul><ul><li>  Cross-check data </li></ul><ul><li>  Create opportunities to reflect on learning </li></ul><ul><li>  Recognise when to stop. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Methods of Collecting TK The Methodologies <ul><li>Traditional survey methodology  </li></ul><ul><li>Observation method </li></ul><ul><li>Combination of Survey and Observations methods </li></ul><ul><li>Generally interview or survey methods </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Example from Kyrgystan For collecting traditional knowledge in Kyrgystan,  Aigine Cultural Research  Center collected  materials between 2005 and 2009. Methods used :  interviews, transcribed and then shown to the informants and got the details confirmed . Information about spiritual practices  was  first collected from books previously published and then updated
  8. 8. The Example from India In 2003 a study was conducted to verify traditional methods of mollusc  shell collection in  Ganjam District, Orissa. The methodology for collection of data included laboratory work and survey  which was carried out using a special questionnaire for interviewing people
  9. 9. Use of  GIS The Geographical Information System (GIS) is also being used in collecting traditional knowledge Training in Collecting Traditional Knowledge Preservation <ul><li>Traditional values and languages are diminishing </li></ul><ul><li>Regression is taking place </li></ul><ul><li>Factors: modernisation, impact of Internet and ICT </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation  would eventually help in maintaining a historical link with the past </li></ul>
  10. 10. WIPO WIPO  programmes  help  partly.  The revised provisions of WIPO for the Protection of  Traditional Knowledge  include the following policy objectives <ul><li>Meet the actual needs of traditional knowledge holders </li></ul><ul><li>Promote conservation and preservation of traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Empower holders of traditional knowledge and acknowledge the distinctive nature of traditional knowledge systems </li></ul><ul><li>Support traditional knowledge systems </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to safeguarding traditional knowledge </li></ul>
  11. 11. Archiving The archiving of traditional knowledge in the digital form or in other forms, such as display in  museums, maintenance of documents, preserving through sound-recordings, video-recordings etc. are specialised jobs, for which the facilities are not generally available in small libraries. At national and international  levels  very elaborate  programmes need to get established and executed.
  12. 12. Preservation specialists and centres Need for preservation centres of traditional knowledge <ul><li>Preservation ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Role of memory in traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Rights of  the owners of traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of the sources of tradition knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Role of local languages </li></ul><ul><li>The  use of information and communication technologies effectively in collection and preservation of traditional knowledge </li></ul>Issues include
  13. 13. Preservation Method: University of Cambridge University of Cambridge Central Asia Forum (CCAF)  undertook a project from April 2006 to February 2007 for  locating and mapping of bio-diversity issues in selected areas of Central Asia and Ferghana Valley Field trips The data collection through field trips resulted in finding solutions to the depletion of the bio-diversity
  14. 14. Digitisation Digitisation of recorded knowledge. This is being done all over the world. The examples are aplenty, including in India.   The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is an important example from India Oral traditions United Nations University The Traditional Knowledge Bulletin of the United Nations University lists several programmes that are supported and started for the preservation of traditional knowledge <ul><li>Preservation and enhancement of  biological diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Educational initiatives to strengthen traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Recording Africa’s dying languages </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in traditional medicine </li></ul>
  15. 15. Protection International <ul><li>1983    Recognising that the environment problems were global in nature the U. N. General Assembly passed the Resolution No. 38/16   in 1983 which recommended that  a Commission be established to prepare the Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond. </li></ul><ul><li>1983   The Brundtland Commission  was established by the United Nations  to look into the deterioration of the human environment and natural resources and  their  impact on  economic and social development on indigenous people. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>1987    The Brundtland Report (1987), highlighting the relevance of collective human rights  recognised the local rights and aspirations of indigenous people and   recommended to the United Nations to establish a Working Group on Indigenous Populations. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>1989    The importance of collective human rights was later  recognised by the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 169 (1989). </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>1992    The importance of collective human rights was  recognised at  the Rio Declaratiion  on Environment and Development. (1992). </li></ul>
  16. 16. Protection International <ul><li>1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recognized the value of traditional    knowledge in protecting species, ecosystems and landscapes </li></ul><ul><li>1996    Convention on Biological Diversity(Buenos Aires)  emphasised  the relevance of local knowledge.  The Convention further appealed to States to let  local communities and indigenous peoples to take care of their biodiversity within their territories in order to protect it.  </li></ul><ul><li>1999 World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), established rules for creating and protecting intellectual   property.  </li></ul><ul><li>1999  World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)  established  a Fact Finding   Mission in 1999 which covered music, songs, traditional designs, etc. WIPO established  the Inter-Governmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC-GRTKF) to acomplish the goals.  WIPO   started investigating the relationship between traditional knowledge, biodiversity and intellectual property rights </li></ul><ul><li>2007    The importance of collective human rights was   recognised at the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007)  </li></ul><ul><li>2009 (October) WIPO General Assembly  decided that  discussions should continue for the next two years on the adoption of  an international legal instrument on the protection of   traditional knowledge </li></ul>
  17. 17. Protection National India  had to fight for revocation of turmeric and basmati patents granted by United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and neem patent granted by European Patent Office (EPO) <ul><li>1999    The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy-(AYUSH) constituted an inter-disciplinary Task Force, for creating an approach paper on establishing a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL). </li></ul><ul><li>2001  The project was initiated by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology and Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.  In case of medicinal plants, minerals, animal resources, diseases   etc.  the Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC) was established for developing a  structured classification system. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Protection National But the Patents Act, Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Rights Act, Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 have provisions that can be utilized for protecting traditional knowledge Institutional At the institutional level, both governmental and non-governmental,  suitable  steps can be taken
  19. 19. Role of Knowledge Centres In order to provide library services to aboriginal tribes in Queensland (Australia) and islanders in Torres Strait, the State Library of Quuensland established kuril dhagun, the Indigeneous Knowledge Centres. These centres also record the history and culture of the people, offer programmes on historical events. These centres cover both intangible and tangible knowledge. The knowledge centres offer exhibitions online, language listening programmes, watch a video etc.
  20. 20. <ul><li>Getting TK Patents </li></ul><ul><li>Stopping Misrepresentations and Misuse </li></ul><ul><li>Liaising on Behalf of the Community </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting Innovations </li></ul><ul><li>Free Flow of TK </li></ul><ul><li>Promotional Support for Economic Development </li></ul>
  21. 21. Research in TK The Knowledge Centre could collect a good deal of research material for researchers:Examples <ul><li>Traditional agricultural tools  </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional knowledge for agro-ecosystem management </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional agricultural practices in Meghalaya, Northeast India </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional alcoholic beverage, Yu of Meitei communities of Manipur </li></ul><ul><li>Some indigenous knowledge systems in parts of central Nigeria </li></ul><ul><li>Organic farming tradition reinvented </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous technological knowledge in fish farming </li></ul>
  22. 22. Access <ul><li>A modern public  library or </li></ul><ul><li>A  Knowledge Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Should have access to  local sources of  knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Including traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>To  amplify the  use of local traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>To bring to notice of local people  improvements and advances </li></ul><ul><li>shaping the world </li></ul>
  23. 23. Reference Service While  giving reference service, the staff should keep in mind the following characteristics of traditional knowledge <ul><li>Traditional knowledge is authoritative in its character </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional knowledge is a reality and should not be rejected </li></ul><ul><li>It gives a special identity to  the people </li></ul><ul><li>It reflects a way of life of the people that follow it </li></ul><ul><li>It should not be separated from the people by any method </li></ul><ul><li>Each tradition, skill, craft etc. has a  long history  behind it </li></ul><ul><li>Classification of the facets of traditional knowledge within each genre is very important </li></ul><ul><li>The users of traditional knowledge need  to be informed if it is patented and protected well </li></ul><ul><li>All knowledge needs to be shared   </li></ul>
  24. 24. Conclusion The following recommendations emerge from the above presentation <ul><li>The collection of TK is essential </li></ul><ul><li>The archiving of traditional knowledge in the digital form or in other forms is also essential </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation methods of TK varry from item to item </li></ul><ul><li>TK needs to be recorded and digitised </li></ul><ul><li>Oral traditions should be maintained in institutions where they are still in practice </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination with international bodies like WIPO needs to be strengthened </li></ul>
  25. 25. Conclusion <ul><li>All traditional knowledge which is in danger of getting patented by other agencies and individuals should be got patented at the national level </li></ul><ul><li>Misrepresentation of local knowledge by individuals who may be local or non-local people or experts should be resisted </li></ul><ul><li>The innovations developed by local people based on traditional  knowledge could be promoted  by  Knowledge Centres </li></ul><ul><li>Research in TK should be supported by Government agencies </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li>A modern public  library or a  Knowledge Centre for public in a community  should have access to  local sources of  knowledge including traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Centres  should be established to collect,  promote, protect and preserve TK </li></ul>
  26. 26. THANK YOU