|Last updated: 19/06/2013|
This background study presents the findings of a comprehensive survey of documentation and literature on these rights. It is designed as a guide for negotiators, practitioners and researchers wishing to understand the concept and the potentials of farmers’ rights. The documents represent the fruits of long and complex negotiations, and provide an important context for the realization of farmers’ rights. How to reward farmers for their past, present and future contributions to conserving, improving and making available crop genetic resources for food and agriculture has been a central topic in the negotiations. An international fund for supporting and assisting farmers in this has long been on the agenda. Discussions have also focused on how farmers’ rights can balance breeders’ rights, so as to ensure an equitable system that can facilitate farmers’ continued access to – and free use of – crop genetic resources.
This paper presents overall considerations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The ITPGRFA, reflecting the new orientation given by the Biodiversity Convention, emphasizes the conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, their sustainable use and benefit sharing. The ITPGRFA focuses on issues not addresed in other international treaties such as farmers' rights but it does not addresses directly patents or plant breeders' rights covered in the TRIPS Agreement and the UPOV Convention respectively.
This paper analyses international and Kenyan legal frameworks for the protection of biodiversity and plant varieties. It looks at TRIPS and the CBD in terms of their coverage, synergies and recent developments. The paper seeks to identify cross-cutting issues and trends pertinent to the protection and enforcement of community, farmers' and breeders' rights through suis generis systems. It argues that laes protecting biodiversity in general and plant varieties in particular are steeped in favour of individual property rights not suited to protecting those of the community.
This paper investigates the impact that climate change will have on countries’ interdependence on genetic resources for food and agriculture. It has been developed for submission to the twelfth session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture on 19–22 October 2009 which concerns access and benefit-sharing norms. The extent of countries’ interdependence on categories or sectors of genetic resources is a potentially important consideration when evaluating, and or developing, access and benefit-sharing norms.
This paper provides an analysis of existing non-monetary benefit-sharing arrangements and considers if and how such arrangements could be applied in the implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The analysis of a range of current benefit-sharing clauses in national laws, and agriculture-related benefit-sharing contracts reveals that all are based on bilateral arrangements, and therefore can provide only limited guidance for the multilateral approach of the Treaty. We have then analysed options for multilateral approaches to the three types of non-monetary benefit-sharing distinguished in the Treaty, i.e. information exchange, capacity building and technology transfer, including possible institutional arrangements, based on existing mechanisms. Our conclusion is that opportunities for multilateral non-monetary benefit-sharing exist, that they can be rooted in current best practices, and that they can be implemented in a way so as to achieve ‘quick wins’.