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Titilayo Adebola presents paper at the World Trade Organisation

Last month, Titilayo Adebola, (recent PhD graduate and current sessional tutor at Warwick Law School), delivered a paper at a colloquium at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The working paper titled, ‘Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Access-Benefit Sharing Frameworks for Plant Biological and Genetic Resources in Nigeria’ was presented at the WTO as part of the 15th World Intellectual Property Organisation – World Trade Organisation (WIPO- WTO) Colloquium for Intellectual Property Teachers; an annual two-week event that seeks to enhance teaching, research and policy analysis in international intellectual property.

The Paper

Titilayo Adebola

The delivered paper, ‘examines the global legal architecture for the protection of traditional knowledge and related access-benefit sharing instruments, particularly the WTO’s Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). It also analyses the current traditional knowledge and access-benefit sharing landscapes in Nigeria.’

Access–benefit sharing refers to the way genetic resources are accessed, and how the benefits that result from their use are shared between the people or countries using the resources (users) and the people or countries that provide them (providers) (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity).

‘Significantly, I argue for the introduction of both legal and non-legal systems to protect traditional knowledge, as well as effective access-benefit sharing mechanisms for plant biological and genetic resources sourced from Nigeria.’ Titilayo outlines.


The working paper is part of Titilayo’s interdisciplinary research on the broad range of cultural, economic, philosophical, political and social complexities that shape intellectual property laws for food and agriculture at the national, international and global levels.

Titilayo comments, ‘my research investigates how Global South countries can explore policy spaces in international intellectual property (and related) instruments, to design and introduce systems that are suited to their realities.’

‘My research also explores the global political economy of intellectual property law and policy as well as the global governance of knowledge, particularly relating to food and agriculture.’

What’s next?
  • Publication of paper delivered at the WTO with the WIPO – WTO Research Paper Series.
  • Publication of paper developed from debates raised during Warwick’s multidisciplinary plant variety protection conference in June 2018.
  • Presentation of working paper titled ‘The Regime Complex for Plant Biological and Genetic Resources: Contestations, Discontents and Contemplations’ at the Third World Approaches to International Law Conference (TWAIL Singapore), which will hold at the National University of Singapore from 19 to 21 July 2018.
  • Policy Brief Series for Nigeria, to be launched on 1 October 2018 (Nigeria’s Independence Day). The Policy Brief Series consists of easily accessible policy papers on various aspects of intellectual property rights in the food and agriculture sectors. The aim of the series is, ‘to make my research accessible to a wider audience including policymakers’.
Congratulations Titilayo on a great achievement and we look forward to hearing more about your research and work in the future.

Hear more from Titilayo and her experience at the WIPO-WTO Colloquium.

Mon 16 Jul 2018, 14:49 | Tags: postgraduate, Research