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Last Update: 04 Nov 2016
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Traditional Knowledge

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.

While there is not yet an accepted definition of TK at the international level, it can be said that:

TK in a general sense embraces the content of knowledge itself as well as traditional cultural expressions, including distinctive signs and symbols associated with TK.

TK in the narrow sense refers to knowledge as such, in particular the knowledge resulting from intellectual activity in a traditional context, and includes know-how, practices, skills, and innovations.

Traditional knowledge can be found in a wide variety of contexts, including: agricultural, scientific, technical, ecological and medicinal knowledge as well as biodiversity-related knowledge.