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Trips, CBD and Traditional Medicines: Concepts and Questions. Report of an ASEAN Workshop on the TRIPS Agreement and Traditional Medicine, Jakarta, February 2001
(2001; 88 pages)
This report provides an overview and discussion of the key issues, conflicts and challenges to be confronted when one attempts to understand and develop solutions with regard to the protection and development of traditional systems of medicine and their interface with the 'western' intellectual property rights system. While it shows that, in general, the options existing under the current systems of intellectual property rights do not match with the needs for protection of traditional medicine, it also points at possible modifications and at ways to devise new forms of intellectual property that may better suit the diverse needs of those who seek to protect traditional medicines and traditional medicinal knowledge. Yet this is not to suggest that such protection is necessarily the preferred option. In fact, the inherent contradiction between ensuring access to medicines and providing for (intellectual property) protection in order to enhance their further development resurfaces in the context of traditional medicine. Moreover, traditional medicine usually concerns biological resources and the knowledge of local and indigenous peoples and/or healers regarding their medicinal use. Thus, traditional medicine is interlinked with biodiversity conservation and with indigenous people's rights over their knowledge and resources. At this multi-faceted interface, complex ethical questions arise. Recently, a number of 'high-profile' cases of misappropriation of biological resources and/or the associated knowledge have highlighted the need and stressed the urgency of addressing this issue; mechanisms need to be developed to ensure that knowledge and resources are not used without full, informed consent of their holders, and ways have to be found to ensure equitable sharing of benefits - that is, to actually implement many of the principles which are already laid down in the Convention on Biological Diversity. Thus, policymakers and stakeholders should address the multiple and multi-layered issues and questions, and make a choice, or, preferably perhaps, develop and fine-tune a range of solutions in order to address and balance the various objectives and interests. This report -like the workshop on which it is based- aims to contribute to the debate by shedding some light on the inevitable contradictions and by sharpening the understanding of the questions to be asked. It does not, however, pretend to provide all the answers...
Table of Contents
View the documentEXECUTIVE SUMMARY
View the documentI. INTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contentsII. CONTEXT
Open this folder and view contentsIII. KEY INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS
Open this folder and view contentsIV. IPR & TRADITIONAL MEDICINE: MISMATCH
Open this folder and view contentsV. CONCEPTS, OBJECTIVES AND CONFLICTS
Open this folder and view contentsVI. OPTIONS AND CHOICES
Open this folder and view contentsVII. POLICIES AND STRATEGIES
Open this folder and view contentsVIII. EXAMPLES
View the documentANNEX A - Workshop Agenda
View the documentANNEX B - Opening Remarks
View the documentANNEX C - Selected Articles of the Convention on Biological Diversity
View the documentANNEX D - List of Participants

Trips, CBD and Traditional Medicines: Concepts and Questions. Report of an ASEAN Workshop on the TRIPS Agreement and Traditional Medicine, Jakarta, February 2001

Report of an ASEAN Workshop
on the TRIPS Agreement and
Traditional Medicine

Jakarta, 13-15 February 2001

Prepared by:
Karin Timmermans

National Agency for Drug and Food Control

World Health Organization


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