Research Paper 75, March 2017

Implementing Farmers’ Rights Relating to Seeds

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.


Analytical Note, March 2017

The TRIPS and WTO Negotiations: Stakes for Africa

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…)

SC-FAO MoU Signing, 11 November 2016

Title:              The South Centre-FAO Memorandum of Understanding Signing

Date:              11 November 2016

Venue:           Marrakech

Organizer:   The South Centre, FAO


SC Side Event: Designing Sui Generis PVP System in Developing Countries and the Role of WIPO, 7 October 2016

Title:              Panel Discussion on “Designing Sui Generis Plant Variety Protection System in Developing

                         Countries and the Role of WIPO”

Date:              7 October 2016, 13:00-15:00

Venue:           WIPO New Building, Room 0.107

Organizer:   The South Centre, The Third World Network (TWN) and and the Association for Plant

                         Breeding for Benefit of Society (APBREBES)


Policy Brief 22, September 2015

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…)

Policy Brief 18, May 2015

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…)

Policy Brief 17, March 2015

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…)

Statement, 13-17 October 2014

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…)

Policy Brief 4, April 2011

The Nagoya ABS Protocol and Pathogens. 

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…)

Research Paper 36, March 2011

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…)


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