Gino Cocchiaro

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Gino Cocchiaro is a lawyer with a South African based NGO named Natural Justice. Natural Justice works with communities in Africa, South Asia and Latin America, to facilitate processes that secure the rights of communities to their resources and knowledge. Gino’s work has focused on access and benefit sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the protection of traditional knowledge. Through Natural Justice, he advises communities in the development of bio-cultural community protocols (BCPs). BCPs are a tool that assist communities articulate their customary management rules for common pool resources to governments and other third parties with the aim of affirming rights over those resources and traditional knowledge. Gino and Natural Justice have also collaborated with various communities and researchers to discuss the development of a traditional knowledge (TK) commons; a mechanism to address the problems faced by communities in negotiating meaningful and effective benefit sharing arrangements with researchers who want to obtain access to TK for non-commercial research.