8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
first meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Inter-Sessional Working Group on
Article 8(j) and Related Provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD) begins in Sevilla, Spain, today and will continue until 31 March
2000. The working group is mandated to address five specific areas: application
and development of legal and other forms of protection for the knowledge,
innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities; implementation
of Article 8(j) and related provisions; development of a programme of
work; priorities, opportunities for collaboration and implementation of
the work programme; and measures to strengthen cooperation among indigenous
and local communities. Delegates are expected to meet in two sub-working
groups. Regarding the development of a work programme, Sub-Working Group
I will consider: participatory mechanisms for indigenous and local communities;
equitable sharing of benefits; and legal elements. Sub-Working Group II
will address: status and trends in relation to Article 8(j) and related
provisions; traditional cultural practices for conservation and sustainable
use; exchange and dissemination of information; and monitoring elements.
Article 8(j) of the CBD specifically states that Parties will, subject
to national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations
and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional
lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of such
knowledge-holders; and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits
arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices.
Article 10(c) calls upon Parties to protect and encourage customary use
of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices.
Article 17.2 addresses scientific and technical information exchange with
specific reference to indigenous and traditional knowledge. Finally, Article
18.4 states that Parties shall encourage and develop methods of cooperation
for the development and use of technologies, including indigenous and
traditional technologies, pursuant to the objectives of the Convention.
Additionally, discussions on cross-cutting themes, such as the ecosystem
approach, access and benefit-sharing, the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM)
and the specific ecosystem themes have also addressed the integration
of considerations relating to Article 8(j) and indigenous and local communities.