Bio-cultural Community Protocols in Liberia

By

Kabir Bavikatte met with Jonathan Davies, the CBD Focal Point of Liberia and Dr. Andreas Drews, Co-ordinator of the ABS Initiative for Africa to discuss the development of sui generis systems for the protection of traditional knowledge in Liberia, through the development of community protocols and community led documentation of their traditional knowledge. This discussion took place in the context of the draft Liberian ABS law which also seeks to protect the rights of the holders of traditional knowledge. The meeting agreed that the way forward would be for Natural Justice to facilitate the development of two biocultural protocols with 2 ethnic communities in Liberia in partnership with a local organization. Based on these protocols, a national meeting would be organized with the leaders of the different ethnic groups represented by the National Traditional Council (the body of leaders of the different ethnic groups in Liberia) to present the protocols and to strategize on the way forward to secure the rights of Liberian communities to their traditional knowledge and resources. This would be the first stage of a three year project aimed at securing the rights of the holders of traditional knowledge in Liberia. Natural Justice has been asked to submit a budget for these activities that it will undertake on behalf of the Liberian government.

10 March 2010

Programme

Community Protocols, Traditional Knowledge and Benefit Sharing

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