Information about other important conferences dealing with issues regarding indigenous peoples in the UN system:
Since 2001, the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (the IGC) of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has been one of the arenas where indigenous peoples have sought to obtain protection of their traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions, as well as compliance with free prior and informed consent for access and the fair sharing of benefits arising from these resources.
The IGC has made significant efforts to enhance the participation of indigenous peoples in its process, in particular through the establishment of a Voluntary Fund for Accredited Indigenous and Local Communities (see our Funds section) and through a specific accreditation process. However, this specific accreditation process is quite long, as requests must be submitted at least two months before each session of the IGC and accreditation is only effective for the subsequent session (further details on the accreditation process on WIPO's website).
The WIPO website provides further information and documentation on this organisation's work related to indigenous peoples' traditional knowledge (TK), genetic resources (GR) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs), as well as contact information.
The content of all statements read during Sessions of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore are inside Reports made after each Session. You’ll find them following this link.
Over the past several years, there have been very important developments within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity regarding issues of interest to indigenous peoples. Among these processes, the Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions is mandated to advise the Conference of Parties on the application of adequate forms of protection for traditional knowledge, in accordance with Article 8(j) of the Convention. An international regime on access to genetic resources and benefit sharing is being negotiated within the Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing, where issues of indigenous peoples' rights and free prior and informed consent are at stake. The issue concerning indigenous peoples in the Working Group on Protected Areas are the recognition of territorial rights, customary land tenure, sacred sites, land restitution and the prevention of poverty.
Indigenous peoples' participation is increasingly important and encouraged within the CBD. In particular, the Conference of Parties has established a Voluntary Funding Mechanism for Indigenous and Local Communities (see information in our Funds section).
For further information, please see the CBD's website . Among other information on the CBD, this website has sections on the Article 8(j) and Related Provisions, on the issues of Access to and Benefit Sharing of resources, and of Protected Areas. It also contains a Traditional Knowledge Information Portal aimed at facilitating indigenous peoples' access to information on traditional knowledge relevant to the conservation of biodiversity.
The aim of the Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP) of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to give indigenous peoples the opportunity to gain knowledge on the UN system and mechanisms dealing with human rights in general and indigenous issues in particular so they can assist their organizations and communities in protecting and promoting the rights of their people. In its first decade, more than 100 indigenous men and women from 46 countries undertook the programme. They provided human rights training to many more in their communities.
The IFP is accessible in four different languages: English, French, Spanish and Russian. The selected candidates are entitled to a return flight ticket, living expenses and basic health insurance for the duration of the training programme. The programme -in its four linguistic versions- is held annually. In 2011, a review of the IFP was undertaken and it was decided to merge all the linguistic components into one single training programme (with simultaneous interpretation) lasting from 4 to 5 weeks in Geneva. It was also decided that the date of the training programme would coincide with the sessions of the Expert Mechanisms on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, thus allowing the fellows to participate more actively in that Mechanism. OHCHR Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section – responsible for that programme – is foreseeing to complement the IFP in Geneva through the establishment of regional training components, which will prepare the participants to the Geneva session.
For more information on the programme, the conditions for application, the selection process and the application form, please visit the Indigenous Fellowship Programme website.
Indigenous Fellowship Programme
Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
CH-1211 Geneva 10 / Switzerland
Telefax: + 41 22 917 9008
In February 2011, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has announced the establishment of an indigenous peoples’ forum under the Fund’s auspices. The forum’s overall aim is to advance the participation of indigenous peoples in IFAD discussions and programmes that have an impact on them. The first global meeting of the indigenous people’s forum will take place in conjunction with the IFAD Governing Council in 2013.
In 2009, IFAD Executive Board approved the IFAD Policy on Engagement with Indigenous Peoples. To download the document click here.
Click here for more information on IFAD and indigenous peoples.
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