Sri Lanka’s folk and indigenous medicine to be protected by Geneva’s World Intellectual Property Organisation
The Sri Lankan government has said that measures are being taken to secure intellectual property support for folk and indigenous medicines in the country in a bid to boost the sector.
“I am pleased to say that we are working with Geneva’s World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in the last five years to introduce intellectual property support to our traditional, indigenous medicine system,” Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has said at the inauguration event of National Chamber of Commerce’ Ayurveda Expo 2018 at BMICH.
Sri Lanka’s very own indigenous medical practice is centuries old, and co-exists with the country’s Ayurveda practice. Joining the event were Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Rajitha Senaratne and Minister of Social Welfare and Primary Industries Daya Gamage.
“Ayurveda practice is a long-standing tradition in Sri Lanka existing with our indigenous medicine system. Similar to our local medicine system it supports our wellness and medical tourism development as well,” the Minister has said.
Bathiudeen has added: “There has also been experience sharing between Ayurveda and the local medicine systems. When we say Ayurveda in Sri Lanka it sometimes includes the practice of our own, other indigenous traditional medicines as well. And it is a priority that we safeguard our local heritage. A force that protects our heritage is the intellectual property system of Sri Lanka. Realising this is our intellectual property system is being expanded to meet modern needs as well. The long awaited amendments to Intellectual Property Act on Geographic Indicators (GI) and copyright for artists have also been finalized by my Ministry and ready for approval. We are expanding our intellectual property system to protect our traditional medicine system as well. For example our historic local medicine system which is part of our Ayurveda can be placed under global traditional knowledge support. Therefore I am pleased to say that we are working with Geneva’s World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in the last five years to introduce intellectual property support to our traditional, folk medicine system.”
Sri Lanka’s folk and indigenous medicine is yet another area in the local healthcare system that could be further developed and even promoted as an export commodity. Once the Sri Lankan folk medicine receives the protection of Geneva’s World Intellectual Property Organisation, joint ventures could be formed between local manufacturers and foreign businesses to expand the manufacturing process and even promote it overseas.
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