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On December 16, the Virtual Training Program on Cultural Documentation and Intellectual Property Management for Indigenous Peoples from the Arctic Region, organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), ended.

The program is organized jointly in cooperation with the Arctic Council Russia’s Chairmanshipthe, the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat, the Association of World Reindeer Herders, and UNESCO Chair at the M.K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University December 6-16, 2021 on the ZOOM platform.

More than 40 participants applied for participation in the WIPO virtual program, including representatives of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic and organizations of the Permanent Participants of the Arctic Council, students, teachers, as well as employees of cultural institutions from the Kamchatka Territory, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, St. Petersburg, Norway, and Alaska. Some of them are currently involved in documenting the traditional knowledge, language, and culture of indigenous peoples, and some are just starting their work in this direction. Within the framework of the course, the mechanisms of intellectual property protection that exist at present were discussed. During two training weeks, the participants got acquainted with the experience of other countries and colleagues from other regions. The aim of the program was to provide basic knowledge about the principles, systems, and tools of the intellectual property system and how they relate to indigenous peoples and local communities. In doing so, the potential value of intellectual property in the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions and existing challenges was highlighted. The organizers of the program aimed to develop the ability to apply intellectual property principles, systems, and tools for the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.

Lectures were delivered by WIPO staff, as well as by speakers who are directly involved in projects related to the protection and preservation of traditional knowledge, culture, and languages. Among the lecturers were Lise McLeod, Head, WIPO Knowledge Center, Leticia Caminero, Consultant, WIPO Traditional Knowledge Division, Begoña Venero, Senior Counsellor, WIPO Traditional Knowledge Division, Daphne Zografos Johnsson, Senior Legal Officer, WIPO Traditional Knowledge Division, Liz Lenjo, Founder and Managing Consultant, MyIP Legal Studio, Kenya, Áslat Holmberg, Vice President, Saami Council, and others. Interesting practical examples were given on the experience of documenting the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples of other countries, the experience of interaction of indigenous peoples with organizations engaged in commercial activities. In addition to the lectures, various discussions and analyzes of practical examples were also facilitated by WIPO specialists Fei Jiao, Program Officer, WIPO Traditional Knowledge Division, and Anna Sinkevich, Indigenous Fellow, WIPO Traditional Knowledge Division.

On the closing day, Wend Wendland, Director, Traditional Knowledge Division, Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector, WIPO, gave a speech. The participants thanked for organizing this unique program and made a proposal to continue similar courses with in-depth on specific topics. The organizers hope that the virtual program has helped all listeners to deepen their understanding of the intellectual property system and that the knowledge gained will be applied in their projects to document the traditional knowledge, language, and culture of Arctic indigenous peoples.


The training program was carried out at the initiative of the project of the AC SDWG "Digitalization of the Linguistic and Cultural Heritage of the Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic", as well as following the results of the International seminar within the framework of the III Northern Sustainable Development Forum in Yakutsk on September 27-30, 2021 "Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Knowledge, Culture and Languages ​​in the Times of Digitalization", where the holding of workshops on the protection of intellectual property rights of indigenous peoples with the support of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the recommendations.

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