formulating a draft National Policy on Traditional Knowledge


The National Cultural Commission will be organising the 1st National Consultative Workshop on the Draft National Policy on Traditional Knowledge on Monday 25th May, 2009 at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby.

The aim of this workshop is to solicit comments/views from stakeholders on the content of the current Drafts Framework for National Policy on Traditional Knowledge. It is expected that stakeholder comments and views will immensely contribute towards shaping of the current policy that will ensure that traditional knowledge will be protected, preserved and promoted for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Traditional knowledge is that body of knowledge which has been developed by indigenous people and local communities over millennia. It is a body of knowledge which sustains their lives over millennia and still does so today. As it is a crucial part of their lives and at the same time as important part of their heritage.

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in TK for various reasons which has led to its misuse and misappropriation including the use of TK for economic benefits, in case which the traditional knowledge holders/owners do not receive any benefits.

Therefore the National Cultural Commission hereby wishes to invite stakeholders organisations to participate at this important workshop on Monday from 8.30am to 1.30pm at the Gateway Hotel.

For further information please contact Ms. Ilikomau Ali, policy Analyst on Ph: 323 5111, M: 697 2218, E:

Approved by

Dr. Jacob L. Simet, OL

Executive Director


4 thoughts on “formulating a draft National Policy on Traditional Knowledge

  1. Thanks Emmanuel for posting this here. The workshop shall provide the avenue for comments and views from stakeholders towards finalising a draft national policy on Traditional Knowledge. We hope to conduct similar workshops in other parts of PNG too.

  2. No problem Ili and please feel free to email anything else regarding the NCC you feel should go up on the blog.

    I hope this is a positive step forward and I hope also that we can strike a balance between protecting our culture and not being too restrictive with policies that could potentially be counter productive for our cultural works. I shall definitely be there on Monday.

  3. Protecting TK is important (not that we thought otherwise anyhow)… but in case you needed more proof, here are some examples of where the ‘its owned by everyone (a culture), so therefore its owned by no-one’ mentality has resulted in some scary appropriations of traditional culture:

    NZ Maori designs used on Israeli cigarette packaging:

    The Deep forest Sweet Lullaby was once discussed on this blog:

    This case is widely cited as a classic example of how the ‘west’ has viewed the knowledge of traditional cultures: free for the taking – as no royalties were paid by Deep forest to the copyright owner(s) despite sales in the millions, and the context in which the recording was appropriated may have been legally dubious, according to the ethnomusicologist who actually made the original recording (see Seven Feld 2000, for those who have access)

    Also, If anyone is interested in another potentially dubious contemporary example involving PNG – look up Anthony Copping’s ‘Last Voices From Heaven’ CD and DVD… ‘White Knight’ goes into the PNG jungle, ‘rescues’ PNG traditional music from dying out by making a dozen recordings, dramatically edits them electronically and imposes electronic drums and synths onto them… and makes himself a bunch of money.

    Although Im not entirely sure of the arrangements Copping had with each performer or copyright owner(s), not surprisingly, i didn’t see the PNG copyright owners of these songs on the APRA list Oala just published…

  4. It is good initiative. Would be good if one of your officers come to Tukul (Aulimbit) Village, East Sepik Province to experience what is being done to promote, preserve and develop traditional knowledge and arts, stories, craft, relics and many more, how the village has organised itself using traditional haus man system. Out of context here but all the same traditional music, songs, chants are organised in similar manner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s