Story by Ronnie Vernooy
From May 27-28, 2013, the 1st Regional Meeting of the project “Enhancing Understanding and Implementation Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in Asia” was held at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. This new three years (2012-2015) regional project, supported by the Government of Japan, aims to support 15 Asian countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam) to build institutional capacity to realize facilitated access through the multilateral system (MLS) of the Treaty. The project is implemented by the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific with technical support of FAO headquarters, the Treaty Secretariat and Bioversity International.
Workshop participants. Photo credit: FAO-RAP.
The first regional meeting, attended by delegates of 14 countries (of the 15 listed above), delegates from Japan, and a number of resource persons, aimed to brief participating countries on the objectives of the project, raise awareness of the importance of the Treaty, identify scope of the work and cooperation among countries, and develop country work plans. Continue reading
“Now, after the course, I feel like I know a lot about agricultural policies and laws. That will be very useful for me in my work back home.” (A course participant during the evaluation session on May 3, 2013)
Photo: Ronnie Vernooy
From April 15-May 3, 2013, 27 professionals from 21 countries took part in the international course Contemporary approaches to genetic resources conservation and use organized by the Centre for Development Innovation of Wageningen University and Research Centre. During three weeks, they learned about and debated the merits of in situ and ex situ conservation strategies, conventional and participatory plant breeding approaches, practices of sustainable use and, notably, the relevance and impact of policies on conservation and use of plant genetic resources. Continue reading
A market in Guatemala. Photo credit: J Fanzo/Bioversity
by Gea Galluzzi and Isabel Lapeña
The national kick-off workshop for the GRPI2 project “strengthening national capacities to implement the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture” in Guatemala, took place in Guatemala city, 21-22 March 2013. Participants included the Guatemalan team, national authorities from agriculture, environment, biodiversity, trade and IP and staff from Bioversity International and CCAFS. Continue reading
Custodian farmers are recognized for their contributions to the conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity. Photo credit: R Vernooy\Bioversity International.
Ronnie Vernooy recently attended a workshop on Custodian Farmers of Agricultural Biodiversity: Policy support for their roles in use and conservation, in New Delhi, India, 11-12 February 2013. Ronnie gave a presentation on supporting the custodians of biodiversity, highlighting options for policy and legal support in four areas: recognition of conservation efforts; protection of farmer knowledge; taking part in benefit-sharing; and participation in decision making.
For more information, see Bioversity International website.
On 18 February, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is organising a seminar (in Copenhagen and streamed live through the CCAFS website) which will explore the social dimensions of climate change: how development programming needs to embrace resilience, the transformative cornerstones of social science research for climate change, and gender and social differentiation in building agricultural climate resilience. Read more.
The multilateral system of access and benefit sharing: case studies on implementation in Kenya, Morocco, Philippines and Peru.
The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture entered into force in 2004. While a number of member countries have made considerable progress implementing its multilateral system of access and benefit sharing, others have clearly experienced challenges and delays. In this new book, experts from Kenya, Morocco, Philippines and Peru share their countries’ experiences in the ratification and implementation of the Treaty
. The incentives to implement the multilateral system are numerous but so are the challenges. The book illustrates common challenges and identifies measures that could be adopted to advance implementation. We hope this is of value in the design of implementation strategies to benefit all users of plant genetic resources.
Read more and download the PDF.
Report by Gloria Otieno, Bioversity-Uganda.
The Climate Analogues Tool, developed by CIAT and CCAFS (CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security) identifies areas where current climate corresponds to predicted future climate at a chosen reference site of interest. The use of the tool within Bioversity International’s GRPI2 project should allow partners to identify germplasm from the analogues sites, which could perform well under the future climatic conditions of their reference sites. Germplasm from the identified analogue sites, in or out of the country, can be accessed through the multilateral system created by the International Treaty, by consulting databases such as Genesys. Teams from Rwanda and Uganda took part in a training workshop, from 21-23 November 2012, in Kigali, Rwanda, to learn hands-on about the tool. Continue reading
Genetic Resources and Intellectual Property Rights (GRIP) is an advanced international training programme financed by Sida.The programme aims to enhance managerial and technical skills in the field of IP, contribute to processes of change and development in the participants’ organizations and provide guidance in the policy formation of IP and innovation systems.
The next GRIP programme will be carried out in Sweden in May 2013 with a follow up seminar in a participanting country in November 2013. [Download brochure and application form]. The closing date for applications is 15 January 2013.
Bioversity International and the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute are pleased to announce their co-publication of a paper by Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity Law, Faculty of Law, University of Malaya.
Click here to access and download the paper.
The paper analyzes issues related to the implementation of the multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing in Malaysia. One of the main issues considered in the paper is whether PGRFA collections held by parastatal organizations are ’under the management and control’ of the Malaysian national government ’and in the public domain’ and therefore automatically included in the multilateral system. The paper offers a framework for analysis that can be used in other countries in situations where the ‘under the management and control’ status of PGRFA is not clear.
The paper also analyzes the relationship of Malaysia’s approach to implementing the multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing under the ITPGRFA to other access and benefit sharing rules that are being considered pursuant to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Ultimately the paper suggests means by which the future CBD-ABS draft law can exempt the ongoing operation of the multilateral system from its scope.
For more information, you may visit a blog post from earlier this year about the national consultative workshop that was held in Kuala Lumpur as part of the process of developing this paper.