AsiaGI - An introduction to Geographical Indications In Asia

Economics and management of natural resources
This training is co-organized by CIRAD and REDD (Switzerland). Origin based quality products and Geographical Indication have been recognised as useful tools for local development, and as such, have been the object of a number of donor assisted projects or government programs. Labelling food and handicraft products with Geographical Indications (GIs) contributes to regional development, by facilitating the participation of local entrepreneurs in the regional, national or international markets, with their specific skills and know-how. This fact has been recognised in Europe for many years, and is increasingly also developed in Asia.
Nettoyage de la cannelle de Văn Yên qui bénéficie d'une indication géographique © V. Bonneaud, Cirad
Nettoyage de la cannelle de Văn Yên qui bénéficie d'une indication géographique © V. Bonneaud, Cirad

Nettoyage de la cannelle de Văn Yên qui bénéficie d'une indication géographique © V. Bonneaud, Cirad


  • Fully understood the concepts of Geographical Indications as an Intellectual Property and a market access and protection tool, their potential contribution to local and sustainable development, and their “place” in the various voluntary standards and other differentiating tools.
  • Learnt of the basic elements of a Geographical Indication: astrong link to the “terroir” or territory,
  • an organized and representative value-chain organization, and/or an entity representing the collective of producers
  • a negotiated and clear Book of specifications,
  • a control system,
  • and key aspects of the management and marketing/promotion
  • Gained a thorough understanding of legal and institutional framework of GIs in the various countries: institutions in charge of registering GIs or supporting GIs, GIs scope of protection, relation with trademarks, international protection


  • Development agencies
  • Rural development and value chain Practitioners and academics
  • IP administrators responsible for GI registration
  • Experts from technical ministries involved in rural development (Ministries of Agriculture, Commerce and industry, handicrafts) and support agencies (agricultural extension services, research institutions,…)
  • Regional and local bodies (agricultural chambers, chambers of trade and industry, product boards…)
  • Stakeholders from GI producer organisations, cooperatives, supply chains or interprofessional bodies




During day 1 the trainees will be (re-)introduced to the concepts and definitions of Origin based Quality Products, will look at the raison–d’être and policy reasoning of the legal protection of Geographical Indications, understand the important values behind the collective Intellectual Property tool. They will then look at the legal regimes for protecting GIs, the scope of protection and the institutional mechanisms necessary to register and protect GIs.

Day 2 will introduce the notion of the collective management of the common heritage that is a GI. For this collective management, the value chain must be well understood and the stakeholders of that value-chain must be informed, motivated and organised into an organisation to first request for protection and then manage the GI. Notions of the types of organisation, its role, structures and economic model will be discussed.

On day 3 am, how to define of the specific quality and production methods of a Geographical Indication, and justify the request for protection as a GI will be presented. This definition, codified in the Code of Practice, must be the result of open discussion and agreements by the (voluntary) members of the supply chain, and must define the quality and production methods in a way that guarantees the quality on which the reputation was based, and that can be checked by 3rd parties.

Day 4 - Field visit to explore how the theoretical concepts are applied in the reality of Kampot Pepper GI.

Day 5 will cover the central role of the interprofessional body, i.e. maintaining and guaranteeing the specific quality, as defined in the Code of Practice. For this traceability tools, self-control and internal controls will be discussed, as well as the role of the third party certifier.

On Day 6 am as the Geographical Indication is first a foremost a market tool, to obtain success its specific qualities must be properly communicated, promoted and marketed. The specifics of marketing Geographical Indications will be explored, looking a real success and failure cases.

Other aspects that will be explored are GIs applied to handicrafts, international agreements and international projects for the promotion of GIs.

Detailed information on the program can be found on the website :

  • Peter Damary , REDD, - Main trainer and coordinator - with long term experience in training on GIs and currently based in Davao, Philippines
  • Delphine Marie Vivien, CIRAD, Co-main trainer with long term experience in training on GIs and previously based in Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Sok Sarang, ConsultantGI control and certification, Cambodia.


Participants will be asked to prepare for the training through readings and presentations of the situation in their country/region, and will be asked to complete a task after the training that will be corrected and serve as an evaluation of the progress made during the training.

Teaching materials

This course is based on interactive methods:

  • There will be presentation in class by practitioners and experts, followed by discussions,
  • Practitioners from countries in Asia (registrar, certification agent, rural development practitioner and/or the head of an inter professional organization) will provide opportunities for the participants to exchange on practice issues,
  • Participants will work in small groups on different case studies and role plays,
  • And will prepare a work plan adapted their own situation (at the end and after the training)
  • A field visits will be organized to illustrate some of the points of the training and allow the participants to discuss with producers/processors/traders.

Restitutions, debriefings and classroom discussions will complete the interactive learning methodology.