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Leveling the Playing Field

On April 19, Kabir Bavikatte (Natural Justice) facilitated a workshop organized by the National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office (NIKSO) in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. Participants included representatives of the Nkandla, Mkhwanazi, and Mhalabuyilingana communities and the University of Zululand. The workshop was designed to discuss a potential agreement for the documentation of indigenous knowledge of the communities by the University as a part of its Department of Science and Technology (DST)-supported Knowledge Management program. The main component of the workshop was a role-play scenario about a university seeking to document two communities’ shared indigenous knowledge. The role-play enabled participants to discuss key issues and to provide the DST with clear terms and conditions for the documentation of their indigenous knowledge. DST is now interested in developing bio-cultural community protocols with the three communities to inform a potential memorandum of understanding with the University of Zululand. The NIKSO is also considering a longer-term collaboration with Natural Justice to support the development of these community protocols.

22 April 2010

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