Indigenous Cultural Heritage and Fair Trade: Voluntary Certification Standards in the Light of WIPO and WTO Law and Policy-making

Indigenous Cultural Heritage and Fair Trade: Voluntary Certification Standards in the Light of WIPO and WTO Law and Policy-making Book Section

Indigenous Peoples’ Innovation: Intellectual Property Pathways to Development

  • Author(s): Christoph B. Graber, Jessica C. Lai
  • Secondary Author(s): Peter Drahos, Susy Frankel
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: ANU E Press
  • ISBN: 9781921862779 (pbk.) 9781921862786 (ebook)

Abstract: For a long time, the issue of trading indigenous cultural heritage (ICH) was discussed with a defensive attitude. The question was generally how indigenous peoples could be protected against third parties misappropriating their knowledge assets in national or international trade. Academic writings adopting this approach seconded indigenous peoples fighting against old injustices stemming from unresolved problems of colonisation and a subjugation of their culture under Western law. Only very recently has a new wave of scholarship started to challenge this type of defensive thinking and tackle the issue of trading ICH from the development perspective. The question now is how trade in ICH can contribute to the economic and social development of indigenous peoples. The idea behind this approach is that an active participation in the trade of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) and other traditional knowledge (TK) would offer indigenous peoples not only a source of income — allowing for a reduction of government aid dependency — but also a means for becoming architects of their proper future and, thus, increasing their sense of identity and dignity. Because ICH is a multidimensional asset, an important precondition for such indigenous empowerment would certainly be that the decision about which TCE can be traded and which TCE — because of its sacred or otherwise important meaning for a community — must not enter the market is a prerogative of the respective TCE- and TK-owning indigenous community. The chapters in this volume were first presented at the conference ‘Intellectual Property, Trade and the Knowledge Assets of Indigenous Peoples: The Developmental Frontier’ in December 2010. Traditional knowledge systems are also innovation systems. This book analyses the relationship between intellectual property and indigenous innovation. The contributors come from different disciplinary backgrounds including law, ethnobotany and science. Drawing on examples from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, each of the contributors explores the possibilities and limits of intellectual property when it comes to supporting innovation by indigenous people.

Cite this document

Suggested Citation
Christoph B. Graber, Jessica C. Lai, 2012, Indigenous Cultural Heritage and Fair Trade: Voluntary Certification Standards in the Light of WIPO and WTO Law and Policy-making, Book Section, viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3492.

Endnote Mendeley Zotero Export Google Scholar

Share this page

Search again