The Advisory Committee (AC) on Science and Technology for ACP Agricultural and Rural Development issued a communiqué at the end of their 9th meeting in South Africa from 22 – 26 November 2010 on “Science, Indigenous Knowledge and Innovation: Implications for ACP Agriculture”. The AC acknowledged the value of indigenous knowledge as a richly diverse resource for directing the future of science and innovation and upheld the principle that holders of this knowledge must be able to share in any benefits derived through scientific pursuits. The AC learned valuable lessons for advancing the integration of IK in the science and innovation agenda in ACP countries and recognized the need for shared understanding and ethical standards to govern the documentation and scientific validation of IK. The following are their recommendations:
- ACP countries should invest in IK as an integral part of their science and innovation agendas.
- Ethical standards must be developed and adhered to for the integration of IK into formal science.
- ACP countries should continue to lobby for increased funding for R&D. Partnerships with the private sector are crucial for up-scaling and commercializing promising IK leads.
- ACP countries should institute relevant policies and legislative frameworks to support harnessing of IK and to protect the rights of all stakeholders including IK holder(s) and communities.
- ACP countries should focus on strengthening research, training and extension and mainstream indigenous knowledge into these programmes for sustainable development.
- CTA should take steps to:
- (i) involve IK holders in agricultural science technology and innovation platforms;
- (ii) support capacity building of research and higher education organizations on the legal issues governing IK;
- (iii) support a publication series of case studies on IK; convene an international symposium on IK systems in 2012.
Earlier documents and key notes related to the 9th meeting have been published here.
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