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Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources, Customary Law and Intellectual Property

A Global Primer

Paul Kuruk

The book examines the national, regional and international frameworks of protection of traditional knowledge in all regions of the world. It also discusses options to enhance the existing legal regimes including the use of customary laws and protocols; the adoption of mutual recognition agreements premised on the principle of reciprocity; and the disclosure of source or country of origin of traditional knowledge in intellectual property applications.
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Chapter 6: Genetic resources and biodiversity conservation

Paul Kuruk


The chapter describes the international regime governing access to genetic resources and related traditional knowledge, including rules on prior informed consent, mutually agreed terms and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits. It traces the development of those rules, first as principles in the Convention on Biological Diversity, then as guidelines in the Bonn Guidelines, and finally as binding commitments in the Nagoya Protocol. A survey is conducted of the provisions in the Nagoya Protocol on dispute settlement; national focal points, competent national authorities, and clearinghouses for the implementation and monitoring of obligations under the instrument; and multilateral sharing mechanisms for fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from utilization of genetic resources that occur in transboundary situations. The chapter also examines the rights of plant breeders in the UPOV conventions, farmers rights in the FAO treaty, and the rights of indigenous peoples found in some instruments concerning the environment.

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