Knowledge for Development

Imagining a traditional knowledge commons: a community approach to sharing traditional knowledge for non-commercial research


Date: 20/11/2009


The authors of this article examine the concept of TK Commons. Noting that the TK Commons does not preclude the rights of communities to enter into commercial ABS agreements for the use of their TK, they argue that it offers a further possibility for indigenous and local communities to move beyond the dominant “sale of TK leads to conservation” interpretations of CBD Article 8(j), and share their traditional knowledge whilst being able to equally define and control its use. TK Commons, they conclude, ultimately seeks to view the knowledge of indigenous and local communities as a total social phenomenon that moves beyond understanding TK as a purely tradable commodity to promoting its cultural and spiritual dimensions.

Authors: E. Abrel et. al., International Development Law Organization, Natural Justice, October 2009

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