Traditional knowledge (TK) is knowledge, know-how, skills and practices that are developed, sustained and passed on from generation to generation within a community, often forming part of its cultural or spiritual identity. Traditional knowledge (TK) is integral to the identity of most local communities. It is a key constituent of a community’s social and physical environment and, as such, its preservation is of paramount importance.
The preservation, protection and promotion of the TK-based innovations and practices of local communities are particularly important for developing countries. Their rich endowment of TK and biodiversity plays a critical role in their health care, food security, culture, religion, identity, environment, trade and development. Yet, this valuable asset is under threat in many parts of the world.