The concept of Farmers’ Rights recognized the role of farmers as custodians of biodiversity and helped to draw attention to the need to preserve practices that are essential for sustainable agriculture. This paper examines one particular aspect of such rights, perhaps the most controversial. It deals with the component of farmers’ rights referring to the use, exchange and sale of farm-saved seeds. Although that concept was initially introduced in 1989 with the aim of balancing the rights of farmers as breeders and of commercial plant breeders, a specific reference to the rights relating to seeds was only introduced upon the conclusion of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in 2001.
This paper discusses the current negotiation issues in the context of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the position the African Group has taken in these negotiations. (more…)
South Centre Statement to the WIPO Assemblies 2016
The statement highlights that the greatest challenge for developing countries and LDCs in the area of intellectual property (IP) is the proliferation of regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements that impose IP obligations, together with the coercive external political and economic pressure to restrain from making use of the flexibilities in the IP system.
Food Security and Access and Benefit-Sharing for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
About the book: A study prepared for the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) on whether, and how, national and regional laws, guidelines and other arrangements on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS) may impact upon agriculture and food security.
Authors: Gurdial Singh Nijar, Gan Pei Fern, Lee Yin Harn and Chan Hui Yun
South Centre intervention to the UPOV Consultative Committee on the issue of interrelations with the FAO ITPGRFA
The South Centre participates as an observer in the ongoing process for the “identification of possible areas of interrelations between the FAO ITPGRFA, especially its Article 9 on Farmers’ Rights, and relevant instruments of UPOV and WIPO.” It seeks to promote an outcome that (more…)
The WIPO Negotiations on IP, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge: Can It Deliver?
There has been much expectation on what the Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) can deliver on intellectual property aspects of the protection of genetic resources (GRs), traditional knowledge (TK) and related traditional cultural expressions (TCEs). Results from fourteen years of extensive study, analysis and discussion have been distilled into three negotiating texts. But in July 2014, negotiations suffered a reversal. (more…)
The Nagoya Protocol: Main Characteristics, Challenges and Opportunities
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force in October 2014. Its provisions clearly reflect the need for countries to set up access and benefit sharing rules and procedures for the Protocol’s implementation at the national level. (more…)
Towards a More Coherent International Legal System on Farmers’ Rights: The Relationship of the FAO ITPGRFA, UPOV and WIPO
This Policy Brief outlines some key areas of interrelation among the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). (more…)
South Centre Statement on Coming into Force of Nagoya Protocol
The following is a Statement by the South Centre on the coming into force of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. (more…)
Pathogens are clearly within the scope of the Nagoya Protocol (NP). Preamble 16 of the NP makes clear that pathogens are within the scope of the NP. Further the preamble does not exclude the application of the benefit sharing provisions of the NP. (more…)
The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources: Analysis and Implementation Options for Developing Countries.
As is common knowledge, the Nagoya Protocol was rushed through in the final hours of COP10 in an attempt to secure a binding instrument on ABS. As a result the Protocol represents, at best, a partially negotiated instrument. In the process, transparency, legal certainty and balance seem to have been sacrificed. (more…)