Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

Webinars on Community Intellectual Property Rights

March 27, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – As NTFP-EP is proudly launching HIVE, its new e-learning platform, we’re opening the second quarter of the year with a series of webinars designed to build capacity on how local and indigenous communities can use existing tools and mechanisms to protect their intellectual property rights over their traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.



Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) play an important role in the lives of many rural and  forest-based communities. These products have significant sociocultural uses especially in the practice of the traditional knowledge of many indigenous and local communities. In the development of NTFPs for livelihoods, the value of the creation of the product goes beyond the resource but also extends to the cultural and sometimes spiritual knowledge, among others, that goes into the process of product development.

The importance of protecting and preserving traditional knowledge has been recognized in several international instruments: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169).

There are specific instruments that can be cited to protect the intellectual property rights of community forest groups under the conventional Intellectual Property Rights of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Particularly in Southeast Asia, the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF) has included in their Strategic Action plan a call to “establish a regional process to protect intellectual property rights over local products and knowledge” consistent with the agreements mentioned above.

The protection of NTFP-based materials, process and associated traditional knowledge of local communities should be understood under international legal instruments as well as existing national and customary laws.


Considering the scale and range of actors in the forestry sector within each ASEAN member states as well as in regional  and global level, appropriate approaches and mechanisms should be well understood for community forest enterprises to usher in sustained economic benefits within the context of cultural and environmental integrity. The interplay of traditional knowledge (TK) as well as Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE) with existing intellectual property tools will be explored.

Specifically, the webinar series aims to:

  1. Provide the NTFP-EP network with a working knowledge of the Intellectual Property Regime under WIPO
  2. Raise awareness among the NTFP-EP network about the existing tools for protecting community intellectual property rights within and outside the Intellectual Property System


The capacity-building series on Community Intellectual Property Rights will run from April – May 2018 in 3 modules. Each webinar session is estimated to run for about 1.5 – 2 hours through an internet-based platform. All modules will be led by Atty. Edna Maguigad (Governance and Policy Adviser, NTFP-EP) in collaboration with Atty. Jing Corpuz (WIPO expert, Philippines). Participants will be given time to share and inquire further to enrich the discussions on the specified topic.

Due to the availability of slots, we encourage interested individuals or groups to register to the webinars by signing up to the links below. NTFP-EP will send you a confirmation email containing the technical details to join the webinar. Reminders will also be sent before the event.

Webinar 1
Introduction to the Intellectual Property Regime
An overview of the main principles of the Intellectual Property System from a TK perspective will be presented. There will also be an exploration of the potential value that Intellectual Property could bring in support of TK protection. Gaps within the Intellectual Property System will also be discussed along with the examination of various Intellectual Property Tools and their potential for protecting TK. Particular focus will be given to the Madrid Protocol.
Schedule: April 12, 2018 14:00 UTC +8 – Finished

Webinar 2

Protecting Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Culture Expression of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
The definition of TK, TCEs, and examples examples under various legal regimes will be investigated. Available Intellectual Property tools to protect TK and TCEs. The rationale, objectives and methodology of the negotiations under the Inter-Governmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions (IGC) under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will also be examined.
May 3, 2018 14:00 UTC +8 – Register here.

Webinar 3
Practical Case Examples on the Use of Existing Intellectual Property Tools for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expression of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and community protocols
Case examples and good practices will be presented on the use of existing Intellectual Property tools to protect TK and TCEs. Examples of the use of community protocols and sui generis systems for protection of TK and TCEs will be explored. These examples will provide clearer connections between the cited instruments and their potential to maintain diverse cultural integrity and enhance the protection of natural ecosystems.
Schedule: June 5, 2018 14:00 UTC +8- Register here.