Indigenous Science and Traditional Knowledge
Wellington, New Zealand 3 - 7 September 2001
Victoria University Marae in Wellington played host to a Pacific sub-regional experts’ workshop on indigenous science and traditional knowledge organised by the National Commission of New Zealand for UNESCO. The meeting ran from 3 to 7 September and attracted some 50 participants from around New Zealand and the Pacific.
The purpose of the workshop was to explore recommendations of the UNESCO World Conference on Science (Budapest, 1999) as they relate to indigenous science and traditional knowledge. In line with these recommendations UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy 2002-2007 supports initiatives aimed at developing local and indigenous knowledge systems (LINKS) as a means of empowering local communities.
Protection of indigenous science was a major theme. What tools and strategies were needed to ensure informed consent and benefit sharing for any commercial development, such as bioprospecting, of indigenous science at the international, regional and national levels? What models existed and/or were required to ensure the protection of biodiversity as well as traditional resource rights of indigenous peoples?