Protection of Traditional Knowledge in the State of Assam and Role of Geographical Indication
Keywords:Traditional knowledge, Traditional cultural expressions, Geographical indication, Assam, Handloom, Handicraft, Medicinal knowledge
Developing countries are constantly looking for the best feasible way to protect their traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions because in several past experiences they have realized that if this valuable knowledge remains unprotected, custodians of such knowledge will lose ownership over the same. Assam, a North Eastern state of India is a rich biodiversity hotspot. Due to the close association with nature, indigenous people of Assam have excellent traditional ecological or medicinal knowledge, traditional agricultural knowledge, traditional fishing, and hunting knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions or folklore. But due to the lack of awareness among the people and in the absence of a proper mechanism to preserve and protect this valuable knowledge several traditional knowledge are on the verge of extinction. In the quest of protecting traditional knowledge from misuse and at the same time recognizing those age-old custodians of such knowledge as the owner of such knowledge, Geographical Indication has evolved as a potential mechanism. It is because geographical indication as an instrument possesses some specific characteristics such as community ownership; which are relatively more suitable for the customary traditional knowledge of indigenous people.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Mayuri Gogoi, Ipsita Kaushik
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