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Practical Workshop on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions

17-20 August 2015, Windhoek, Namibia

The goal of the workshop was to build capacity and raise awareness amongst representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) as well as key government agencies from six African countries.

The focus of the workshop was aimed at reinforcing national policy dialogues and processes around the interface between intellectual properties (IP) and genetic resources (GR), traditional knowledge (TK), and traditional cultural expressions (TCE). Participants had the opportunity to meet in national groups to informally reflect on, improve and conceptualize future work in their respective countries.

The workshop also addressed the interface between IP and ABS, particularly the IP considerations that may arise in the use of GRs and associated TK, and subsequent benefit sharing arrangements. The emphasis was on how, in practice, IP principles, systems and tools are or can be relevant to the developmental interests of IPLCs and governments. Reference was made to examples and practices from the African region.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the ABS Initiative provided resources as well as technical and administrative support.


Approx. 30 participants from six countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Uganda.

From each country, 5 participants were invited to participate:

  • two IPLCs representatives
  • one officer from the IP Office
  • one officer from the Ministry of Environment (ABS focal point)
  • one officer from the government body in charge of development planning.

Organized by WIPO and the ABS Initiative, in cooperation with the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism.