Description/achievement of initiative
In the Caribbean Region, the WIPO Secretariat is facilitating an on-going Member State-led process aimed at the development of a regional instrument on genetic resources (GRs), traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs). This process was initiated at the WIPO Regional Ministerial-Level Meeting on Intellectual Property for Caribbean Countries in 2006. Recognizing the importance of establishing mechanisms to preserve indigenous Caribbean culture and to protect expressions of folklore and other traditional knowledge, as reflected in the Caribbean Community's Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (Articles 66 and 74), and recognizing the need for harmonized laws and administrative practices in respect of intellectual property rights (IPRs), Ministers requested the assistance of WIPO in developing an appropriate framework for the protection of TK, TCEs and GRs in the region.In pursuance of the Ministers' request for assistance in developing an appropriate framework for the protection of TK, TCEs and GRs, WIPO convened a regional expert meeting in Jamaica in March 2008. At that meeting, a Working Group was established, and entrusted with the tasks of undertaking research, raising awareness, and conducting fact-finding missions and consultations with governments, indigenous and local communities, NGOs, regional organizations and other private and public stakeholders in the Caribbean region. Consultants were subsequently hired to draft policy papers on TK, TCEs and GRs, as well as a document containing elements of a possible regional framework for the protection of TK, TCEs and GRs, for consideration by countries of the Caribbean region at the 2014 WIPO Ministerial-Level Meeting on Intellectual Property for Caribbean Countries.
The Working Group's mandate includes the gathering of information, consultation and the preparation of draft materials for review, consideration and policy and political decisions by Caribbean states. The role of the WIPO Secretariat, on the other hand, is to support the work of the Working Group administratively through providing necessary funding, logistical support, publications and materials on IP and TK, TCEs and GRs, as well as technical information and guidance on IP questions, where so requested by the Working Group.The current mandate of the Working Group should come to an end when the document containing elements of a possible regional framework for the protection of TK, TCEs and GRs will be submitted to the WIPO Regional Ministerial-Level Meeting on Intellectual Property for Caribbean Countries, which is scheduled to take place in November 2014.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure