The Effectiveness of the Swkopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional knowledge in Namibia.
Nandjembo, Lucia Pandulo
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Traditional knowledge has been around for centuries and has gained over the centuries and adapted to the local culture and environment, traditional knowledge is transmitted orally from generation to generation. It tends to be collectively owned and takes the form of stories, songs, folklore, proverbs, cultural values, beliefs, rituals, community laws, local language, and agricultural practices, including the development of plant species and animal breeds. The Swakopmund Protocol has been one of the legislations that has been put in place to protect Traditional knowledge and has to be reviewed. With Traditional communities playing a huge role at the in the Namibian communities, the aim of the protocol is to protect them by establishing its effectiveness. The mini thesis aims to study the intellectual property system in Namibia as a system of protection which is inadequate for protecting Traditional knowledge, and as a result there is a huge need for Namibia to develop its national sui generis system for protecting TK. There are so many gaps existing in Namibia with regards to the existing intellectual property laws that need to be filled with all the results from the research this mini this will provide, it could provide the direction the country needs to go in. The research focuses on the effectiveness of the Swakopmund Protocol that was implemented in 2010. Questions in the paper to be answered are such as what the protocol has achieved in the time that it has been in place, but more importantly how effective the Protocol is in protecting TK within the country and ways forward to protecting TK and making the protection as efficient as possible to extending necessary protection for TK and allow the next generations of people to have access to such knowledge. The mini thesis will be a desk-based research focusing on the Swakopmund Protocol. There is today a growing appreciation of the value of traditional knowledge. This knowledge is valuable not only to those who depend on it in their daily lives, but to modern industry and agriculture as well. Many widely used products, such as plantbased medicines, health products and cosmetics, are derived from traditional knowledge. Other valuable products based on traditional knowledge include agricultural and non-wood forest products as well as handicraft.