IGF 2020 BPF Local Content

Monday, 9th November, 2020 (17:20 UTC) - Monday, 9th November, 2020 (18:50 UTC)
Room 1
About this Session
Join the BPF Local Content for a discussion on local and indigenous content in the digital space – the protection, preservation and sustainability of creative work and traditional knowledge.


Session description

On 30 October, the BPF Local Content published its draft report for IGF 2020, which explores four key issues around local content in the digital age:

  • Digital opportunities in the protection, preservation and promotion of local and indigenous languages
  • Digital opportunities in the protection, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage
  • The protection, preservation and promotion of other forms of local content in the digital age
  • (Digital) funding opportunities and the sustainability and funding in the production of various forms of local content

The report documents examples of good practices and case studies around the explored issues and concludes with a series of recommendations drawn from the presented examples. 

Building on the report, the BPF session at IGF 2020 will include:

  • A short presentation of the report 
  • A showcase of some of the good practices and case studies outlined in the report
  • An open debate on the good practices examined and whether/how they could be replicated elsewhere
  • A discussion on what still needs to be done to protect, preserve and promote local and indigenous languages, cultural heritage and other forms of local content in the digital age and how digital technologies can be used in this regard.

Key points from the discussion – in particular concrete recommendations and suggestions for next steps – will serve as additional input for the BPF report, whose final version will be published after IGF 2020.


  • Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg, Programme Specialist, UNESCO | Policies and initiatives supporting linguistic diversity, multilingualism and local and indigenous languages online
  • Wend Wendland, Director, Traditional Knowledge Division, WIPO | Intellectual property in the context of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions
  • Eddie Avila, Director, Rising Voices | Empowering indigenous youth to create a more culturally and linguistically diverse Internet
  • Allison Davenport, Senior Public Policy Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation | Preserving local languages and fostering the development of local content through Wikimedia projects
  • Stephen Wyber, IFLA | The role of libraries in preserving cultural heritage and making it available via digital tools
  • Rhodri ap Dyfrig, Online Content Commissioner, S4C | TV channels moving to the online space – opportunities and challenges
  • Tomas Garcia Moran, Editor, La Voz de Galicia | Newspapers as promoters of local languages in the digital space – sustainability challenges
  • Sorina Teleanu, Consultant, IGF Secretariat | Overview of the BPF report


  • Carlos Afonso and Giacomo Mazzone, BPF Local Content co-facilitators


Feedback is welcome on the draft report. Please go to the BPF page for more details on how to submit your feedback and by when. 


3. Key Takeaways
  • There is an urgent need to empower and encourage users (end-users or professional organisations or institutions) to develop digital content in local and indigenous languages, especially those at the risk of disappearing.
  • Efforts like the WIPO discussion on a potential treaty on the protection of local traditions and UNESCO’s Internet universality and indigenous language indicators have to be encouraged and promoted. The same has to be done with the development of national and regional policies to support entrepreneurial activities based on local expression.
  • Multistakeholder and international cooperation is essential in raising awareness about the need to promote multilingualism online, but also in mobilising resources (human, financial, institutional, etc) to support the availability of local languages and local content online and to lower barriers to access minorities and indigenous languages.
  • Joint and sustained efforts are needed to empower indigenous people and local communities to digitise their own cultural heritage and manage the associated IP rights.
  • Governments, the private sector and non-profit entities should work together to encourage and support communities and individuals to be content producers themselves and ensure that their languages are present on the Internet. Such support could range from stipends to tech equipment and free Internet access. Libraries and schools could play a pivotal role in this effort.
  • Broadcasters and newspapers in local languages need to be supported in their digitalisation efforts (which is a must, if they want to be where the audiences are), because they can help local communities to bridge the digital divide and be connected through what they have most precious: their identity and roots.
  • The production and distribution of local and indigenous content in digital forms should be encouraged, and this should be done while ensuring respect for intellectual property rights.
7. Reflection to Gender Issues

Gender issues were not discussed.

8. Session Outputs

See the takeaways section above and the BPF report.