Biodiversity Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (2): 232-237.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.06215

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Background, progress and prospect of traditional knowledge under the Convention on Biological Diversity

Fuwei Zhao1, Jianyong Wu1, Dayuan Xue1, 2*   

  1. 1Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Nanjing 210042

    2College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081
  • Received:2012-11-12 Revised:2012-12-26 Online:2013-04-02
  • Dayuan Xue E-mail:xuedayuan@hotmail.com;xuedayuan@gmail.com;

Due to its scientific value, economic potential, and social background basis, traditional knowledge (TK) is valued of great importance under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and by other international fora. The Convention has made enormous efforts for the protection of TK relevant to biodiversity. For instance, an ad hoc working group on Article 8(j) and related provisions was established; programmes of work and action plans on the implementation of Article 8(j) and related provisions were developed and implemented; the negotiation of sui generis system of TK was promoted; and several voluntary guidelines plus the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity were adopted. According to decisions from the 10th and 11th meetings of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the CBD, customary sustainable use, sui generis systems and repatriation of traditional knowledge are recognized as the most crucial issues for further negotiation and implementation of TK. Sub-national authorities which are in charge of biodiversity and intellectual property rights should be more cooperative for integration of our national position about TK issues within different international laws. More importantly, customary sustainable use, sui generis systems and in situ or living protection of TK require further research.

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