Traditional Knowledge in Policy and Practice

Approaches to Development and Human Well-Being

image of Traditional Knowledge in Policy and Practice

Traditional knowledge (TK) has contributed immensely to shaping development and human well-being. Its influence spans a variety of sectors, including agriculture, health, education and governance. However, in today’s world, TK is increasingly underrepresented or under-utilized. Further, while the applicability of TK to human and environmental welfare is well-recognized, collated information on how TK contributes to different sectors is not easily accessible. This book focuses on the relevance of TK to key environment- and development-related sectors, discusses the current debates within each of these sectors and presents suggestions as to how TK can be effectively integrated with conventional science and policy. A valuable resource to researchers, academics and policymakers, Traditional knowledge in policy and practice provides a comprehensive overview of TK, and its links and contributions to social, economic, environmental, ethical and political issues.



Making space for grandma: The emancipation of traditional knowledge and the dominance of western-style intellectual property rights regimes

One of the most dramatic changes in intellectual property rights (IPRs) circles between the 1970s and 1990s was the emancipation of traditional knowledge (TK) systems from the recesses of scorn and neglect. For more than six centuries, the knowledge systems of colonized and dispossessed peoples across the world have languished as the western-styled IPRs system gained prominence, acceptance and legitimacy, regardless of cultural differences. Yet, in the past quarter of a century, TK systems have witnessed some degree of positive review, especially in policy instruments of international intellectual property organizations (WIPO, 1998–1999: 28) and in international agreements.


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