Dr Dina Kariodimedjo – 2022

Slow Progress is Still Progress’: Protecting and Safeguarding Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions in Indonesia

This paper examines the politics of government and of law in protecting and safeguarding traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions in Indonesia. It identifies the challenges and progress in ensuring protection and safeguards and thereby considers which actors might thus be serving as villains or as heroes.

The main legal basis for protecting and safeguarding traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions is Law Number 5 of 2017 on Cultural Advancement. But to be both enforced and fully operational the Law requires implementing regulations. However, so far very few have been enacted. Consequently, the Law is a paper tiger in reality and shows a lack of Government political will or politics of law. This is a sad story since Indonesia as a nation proclaims awareness and pride of its traditional cultural heritage.

It could be argued that ‘slow progress is still progress’. But, since traditional knowledge and cultural expressions are vital for Indonesia’s social and economic identity, a more active and progressive development is needed. The experiences and lessons learned from several local governments, such as the Yogyakarta Special Provincial Government and the Bali Provincial Government, provide a little hope for efforts in protecting and safeguarding traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. At the national level, the Government needs to ensure that there is a firm commitment for the peoples’ benefit. 

Dr. Dina Kariodimedjo
Faculty of Law
University of Gadjah Mada

Biography:

David Price is Professor of International Law in the Asia Pacific College of Business and Law, Charles Darwin University, Dr. Dina Kariodimedjo is a Senior Lecturer of Law at the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), in Central Java. In 2019, she graduated her PhD at Charles Darwin University, entitled ‘Illuminating the Future by Safeguarding and Protecting Intangible Cultural Heritage in Indonesia’. In 2013 she co-authored ‘Indonesian Cultural Heritage Protection in the Pacific Rim Context: The Dichotomy Between Domestic Intellectual Property Rights and External Exploitative Imperatives’. She completed a Bachelor of Law at the University of Gadjah Mada, as well as a Master of Law at Monash University. Her research interests include, intellectual property, international trade law, law, and technology