Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Farmers as custodians of plant genetic resources: Need for legal space

26.06.2006
Farmers are the custodians of agrobiodiversity worldwide, crucial for food security and poverty alleviation. However, the legal space for farmers to maintain this role is rapidly decreasing due to the proliferation of various forms of rules and regulations. This is documented in the Farmers' Rights Project, led by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute. Project results were presented during a recent FAO meeting, and may have contributed to a small breakthrough in the work towards realisation of Farmers' Rights.

FAO's International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) provides for the realisation of Farmers' Rights, but it does not define the concept and there is uncertainty as to how this can be done.

Since March 2005, the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) has led the international Farmers' Rights Project, with affiliated experts in India, Peru and Ethiopia, aimed at providing an empirical basis for constructive proposals to ITPGRFA's Governing Body on how Farmers' Rights can be realised.

At a side event during the Governing Body's First Session in Madrid 12-16 June 2006, FNI Project Leader Regine Andersen presented the project's main conclusions so far:

- The active use of diverse plant genetic resources in agriculture is currently at risk in more and more countries. Various forms of legislation (like certification rules, intellectual property rights and access legislation) increasingly restrict farmers' legal space to continue these customary agricultural practices. Farmers' Rights represent a strategic instrument to create sufficient legal space within the legislative contexts in the various countries – to ensure that farmers' practices of maintaining agro-biodiversity can continue.

- With the rapid genetic erosion in agriculture, distinct incentive structures are needed to ensure further maintenance of plant genetic diversity. Farmers' Rights represent a strategic instrument also in this regard, as they involve rewarding farmers for their contributions to the global pool of genetic resources.

- There are different, and potentially conflicting, approaches to farmers' rights, which can be divided into two main directions of thought: The ownership approach emphasizes the right of farmers to be economically rewarded for genetic material obtained from their fields which is used in commercial varieties and/or protected with intellectual property rights. The stewardship approach, on the other hand, emphasizes the rights that farmers must be granted in order to enable them to continue as stewards of agricultural plant diversity. If the main objective of Farmers' Rights is to maintain agro-biodiversity and to eradicate poverty, then the stewardship approach is clearly the most suitable, and any measures to ensure farmers' ownership rights to plant genetic material should be subordinate to this.

Following the side event, Norway proposed in the Governing Body that Farmers' Rights be included in the programme of work, and requested the Secretariat to prepare for the consideration of this issue at the Second Session of the Governing Body. The proposal was supported by many developing countries and subsequently adopted.

– Farmers' rights have been a controversial issue since it was first brought up in the FAO in 1986, says Project Leader Regine Andersen.

– Our aim has been to build bridges across old controversies and seek to develop a common understanding of how these rights can be realised. The Farmers' Rights Project has succeeded in the endeavour and the results were very well received at the side event. Bringing farmers' rights back in on the agenda of the Governing Body provides unique opportunities to promote the realisation of these rights, she ends.

Regine Andersen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fni.no/news/230606.html
http://www.alphagalileo.org/nontextfiles/FR_core_findings.PDF

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University

nachricht New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
04.10.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>