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“Call of the Earth”

Indigenous Peoples Dialogue on Intellectual Property, Bellagio 2002

The “Call of the Earth” Bellagio Indigenous Peoples’ Dialogue on Intellectual Property (IP) aims at bringing together 19 indigenous peoples experts from different regions, with multiple views and sectoral interests to explore common perspectives; engage in the analysis of emerging issues surrounding indigenous peoples and intellectual property; identify needs and opportunities for organizing the knowledge base, regional thematic dialogues and national round tables; develop common options and strategies; and identify and foster synergy between various local initiatives.
The overall purpose of the meeting is to launch the “Call of the Earth” process by initiating discussions on IP topics that have been identified as important by indigenous peoples in various international fora and engage in a frank debate and innovation which can shape conceptual approaches, policies and practices for future interventions in IP public policy development. It is hoped that this Process will generate changes at both the community and public policy levels and subsequently initiate action-oriented activities to address and take action on critical IP problems identified by the group during the Process. The meeting will be organized in the Bellagio Study and Conference Center 25-30 November 2002. The format of the meeting will combine formal presentations, small group discussions and open time for use by small groups as ideas emerge as the planning evolves. A general background document describing the issues and the process will be developed as well as a compilation of existing indigenous-led literature and a literature review of non-indigenous literature on TK and IK.
The objectives of the meeting are:
1. Share lessons experiences by indigenous peoples in non-government and governmental participatory processes (what works and doesn’t);
2. Analyze the emerging policy issues on intellectual property;
3. Draw together a typology of lessons on innovative examples of indigenous responses
4. Develop standards and principles for participation in the process;
5. Develop an action-plan for the Process;
6. Mandate a new Steering Committee of the Process.A tentative Agenda for the First Indigenous Peoples’ Global Dialogue on Intellectual Property is attached. In brief, the meeting will focus on:
∑ State of Debate, Dilemmas, Key policy; Key actions/strategies;
∑ Mapping of what is going on in key places; lay down the principles of indigenous peoples on intellectual property (the values and the ethics).
∑ Designing the process.
∑ Defining indigenous peoples terms on intellectual property (e.g. “protection”, sui generis, collective rights; TK/IK; specific topics like prior informed consent, access to genetic resources, etc.
∑ Exploring cross-cutting themes and issues (prior informed consent; right to self-determination);
∑ Indigenous Concepts and Values (e.g. to translate this into common terms): how to maintain the holism and not to break concepts into parts?
∑ Strategic Landscaping; State of Policy Debate: Identifying a opportunities and a calendar.