In line with Cabinet’s decision and in a decisive move to enhance Fiji’s intellectual property landscape, the Minister for iTaukei Affairs Ifereimi Vasu is honoured to announce the launch of the consultations on the draft Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expression Bill 2023 (‘draft Bill’).
This initiative, spearheaded with the expertise of renowned IP lawyer Eliesa Tuiloma, marks a historic milestone in safeguarding the rich heritage and vibrant cultural tapestry of our nation.
Significant boost to Fiji’s intellectual property regime
The introduction of the draft Bill signifies a monumental addition to Fiji’s intellectual property regime. It seeks to accord the deserved prominence and legal protection to the wealth of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions that have been the cornerstone of our nation. The draft Bill emerges as a beacon of modernity intertwined with tradition, fostering an environment where cultural heritage is not only preserved but thrives alongside contemporary developments.
The draft Bill stands as a testament of the rich cultural history of our nation. It acknowledges the depth of knowledge and the unique expressions of culture that are woven intricately into the fabric of Fijian society. By fostering a legal framework that protects and promotes these treasures, the draft Bill seeks to fortify the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.
Equitable financing framework
At the heart of this initiative lies an equitable financing framework, designed to facilitate a fair and balanced compensation structure for the utilisation of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. This framework signifies a commitment to fostering respectful and mutually beneficial relationships, whereby the owners of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions are duly recognised and compensated for the contributions their rich culture offers to the society and economy at large.
To craft a Bill that is both inclusive and reflective of the diverse perspectives in Fiji, a nationwide consultation process will be initiated. Leading this vital dialogue is distinguished IP lawyer Eliesa Tuiloma. His profound expertise in intellectual property law will serve as a guiding light in navigating the complexities of this endeavour, ensuring a comprehensive and insightful consultation process.
The Minister for iTaukei Affairs expresses, “We are embarking on a pivotal journey, guided by the wisdom and expertise of Mr Tuiloma. The draft Bill promises to herald a new chapter where the rich cultural heritage of our nation finds a harmonious space within the modern intellectual property sphere.”
The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs invites stakeholders, members of the public and the business sector to come forward and actively partake in this nationwide consultation, helping shape a legislation that embodies the true spirit and aspirations of Fiji in relation to the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.