Safeguarding tradition

 
Published: Wednesday 15 January 2003

A new initiative for the welfare of indigenous people was launched by an international group of experts at a meeting in Bellagio, Italy, from November 25-30. Known as 'Call of the Earth: Ancient Wisdom for Sustaining Livelihoods, Cultures and Environments,' the three-year project will strive to protect intellectual property and traditional knowledge of the local communities.

The meeting, Bellagio Indigenous Peoples' Dialogue on Intellectual Property, brought together experts from different regions to analyse emerging issues related to indigenous people and intellectual property. These included appropriation of expressions of folklore and of human genetic material, and traditional medicines.

A knowledge base will be created, and regional thematic dialogues and national roundtables organised as a part of the project.

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