Guyana to host ACTO ‘Traditional Knowledge’ meeting

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Guyana will be the host country for the 2017 Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) Traditional Knowledge Meeting. The regional conference will be held on November 2-3, 2017, under the theme “Regional Technical Exchange: Community Protocols and Access and Benefit-sharing related to Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples” at the Princess Ramada Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD).

The two-day event is being coordinated by the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It will provide a regional exchange space to share relevant and updated information among ACTO member countries and to initiate technical discussions on the topic that will generate inputs to the Amazon regional agenda (Revised AECA).

What is ACTO

The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) is an intergovernmental body aimed at the promotion of sustainable development of the Amazon Basin. Its member states are Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

ACTO facilitates the Amazon Region level processes of cooperation among its member countries, having developed, among other instruments such as the implementation of pilot/demonstration with the purpose of:  promoting the sustainable development of the regions with emphasis on the improvement of the life quality of local communities; generating inputs for the national and regional political dialog; recording and disseminating the lessons, results, and impacts learned; evaluating the possibility of replication of initiatives; and becoming concrete instruments for the action of regional cooperation on forests.

Background of the meeting

Within the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), countries have expressed the importance of addressing issues related to Traditional Knowledge (TK) in the Organization´s Strategic Agenda (AECA).  The Agenda outlines several activities for addressing TK, including its protection, including convening regional meetings related to the CBD and ILO Convention 169 with active indigenous representation.

Since the Manaus Declaration (2011), ACTO has supported “Promoting an exchange of experiences and good practices on mechanisms designed to protect traditional knowledge and promote protection of TK of indigenous peoples and tribal communities of the Amazon within the framework of their respective national legislations and international law, ensuring preservation of this knowledge and consequently fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from its use.”

At the 2016 Regional Preparatory Meeting to the COP-CBD, ACTO member countries reiterated the importance of specifically developing capacity on: Protection of TK and access and benefit sharing; Biocultural Protocols aimed at communities; registration of TK software development for traditional languages, medium-long term exchange between member countries through technical meetings, and workshops, including virtual platforms.

It is the context of these regional recommendations and considering ACTO´s mandate to revise and align the Strategic Agenda with the 2010 Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on Climate Change, that PS/ACTO is requested to support Regional Experts Meeting on Traditional Knowledge Protection.

Objectives of the Meeting

The Objectives of the Regional Exchange Meeting are to; provide orientation on the international instruments for TK, Community Protocols and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), share information on advancements made on Traditional Knowledge, including Community Protocols and Access and Benefit Sharing as mechanisms for TK Protection, generate regionally relevant information on Protection of TK and Access and Benefit-Sharing and identify possible collaboration opportunities at national and international levels.

Expected Results

Among the expected results of the meeting are; relevant information on TK and ABS mechanisms in the Amazon region, lessons learned (best practices) on TK and ABS, identification of Regional Challenges for TK Protection and ABS; and prioritisation of issues relevant to the region on TK and ABS; recommendations for ACTO on effective processes to deal with challenges (inputs to streamline AECA), Case studies for information, and enhanced knowledge of MC´s on Community Protocols, as a measure of TK protection and community management.

At least two representatives, with technical expertise on TK and ABS, from each ACTO member country, will be invited to participate; and international and regional experts will also be invited to provide orientation and information on the subject matter. Participation will be supported by PRA/GIZ and ACTO.

 

By: Synieka Thorne

 

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