2008-05-21 03:01:47 GMT 2008-05-21 11:01:47 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
UNITED NATIONS, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Tuesday launched a program to help indigenous communities to manage their intellectual property.
The Maasai community of Laikipia in Kenya will be the first to benefit from the program, as it was because of calls from the Maasai community the UN group decided to start such a project.
Two people from the Maasai community will travel with an expert from the National Museums of Kenya to the United States for intensive, hands-on training in documentary techniques and archival skills, said WIPO.
"Our goal is to empower tradition-bearers to preserve and pass on their own traditional cultures if they wish to do so while safeguarding their intellectual property rights and interests," said Francis Gurry, Deputy Director General of WIPO.
New technologies will provide communities with fresh opportunities to document and digitize expressions of their traditional culture, said the official.
WIPO will also provide the Maasai people with a basic kit of field equipment, computers and software for their own use when they return to Kenya, he said.