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.
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.
Policy brief on new strategies and partnerships for the sustainable use of plant genetic resources
Bioversity International’s Policy Unit has developed a policy brief on new strategies and partnerships for the sustainable use of plant genetic resources
. The brief was presented to the Ad Hoc Technical Committee on the Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA)
of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture when they met recently to develop their programme of work.
The brief uses case studies to show how farmers and community organizations are successfully collaborating with research organizations to strengthen diverse agricultural systems, including informal seed systems, conserve and improve traditional crop varieties, and facilitate improved access to genetic diversity. Read more. Download the PDF.
If you are interested in attending the forthcoming IASC2013 14th Global Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons on the “Commoners and the Changing Commons: Livelihoods, Environmental Security, and Shared Knowledge” (see our recent post) you may also be interested in the Prof. Elinor Ostrom International Fellowship on Practice and Policy on Commons which could cover your participation and presentation at the conference.
Deadline for application is 31 October 2012. Apologies for the short notice.
First session of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Ad Hoc Technical Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
FAO CGRFA Working Group on ABS, Svalbard, Norway, 11-13 September 2012. Credit: R Vernooy/Bioversity
Report by Ronnie Vernooy
From 11-13 September 2012, about 60 delegates and observers came together in the town of Longyearbyen, Norway – better known as the location of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – to review and discuss appropriate access and benefit sharing modalities and measures for genetic resources for food and agriculture in a number of sub-sectors (forest, animal, aquatic, micro-organisms and invertebrates). Continue reading
For centuries, farmers have managed planting materials based on relatively open collective systems of access, exchange, conservation and use. Mostly, farmers themselves defined the rules that have kept materials flowing. Over time, however, the plant genetic resources systems, rules and actors have changed considerably. One conceptual approach to study issues related to these changes and the challenges they have brought about, is known as theory of the commons. Until very recently, the study of the commons focused largely on natural resources other than plant genetic resources; best known through the work of Nobel Prize Winner for Economics, Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012). Interest in plant genetic resources as (global) commons is gaining more ground, however, as two forthcoming conferences and one forthcoming book indicate. Continue reading