Realizing farmers’ rights through community biodiversity management

Farming communities attending rewards (in-kind and social recognition) handover ceremony for successful conservation of rare quinoa varieties. Huataquita, Cabanillas District, San Román Province, Puno Region, Peru. Credit: Adam G. Drucker.

Farming communities attending rewards (in-kind and social recognition) handover ceremony for successful conservation of rare quinoa varieties. Huataquita, Cabanillas District, San Román Province, Puno Region, Peru. Credit: Adam G. Drucker/Bioversity International

 A community-based approach to the management of agricultural biodiversity, including supporting community seedbanks, can empower and benefit smallholder farmers and farming communities economically, environmentally and socially. This approach makes implementing farmers’ rights at national level both practical and effective contributing to food and seed security, sustainable livelihoods and resilience. 

Two new briefs show how this approach makes implementing farmers’ rights at national level both practical and effective contributing to food and seed security, sustainable livelihoods and resilience.

•    Realizing farmers’ rights through community-based agricultural biodiversity management
•    Supporting community seedbanks to realize farmers’ rights

These briefs have been submitted to the 2016 Global Consultation on Farmers Right, held in Bali, Indonesia, 27-30 September 2016.

Read more about this work.

Ximena Cadima, from Fundación PROINPA, Bolivia presenting her work on defining and identifying farmers who are good producers of native and traditional seed varieties and putting into place incentives for these farmers to continue operating at the Farmers Rights Consultation. Credit: R. Vernooy/Bioversity Interantional.

Ximena Cadima, from Fundación PROINPA, Bolivia presenting her work on defining and identifying farmers who are good producers of native and traditional seed varieties and putting into place incentives for these farmers to continue operating at the Farmers Rights Consultation. Credit: R. Vernooy/Bioversity International.

 

Ronnie Vernooy presenting on “Community seed banks around the world – preconditions for their success” at the Farmers Rights Consultation.

Ronnie Vernooy presenting on “Community seed banks around the world – preconditions for their success” at the Farmers Rights Consultation. Credit: Pitambar Shrestha/LI-BIRD

Access and benefit sharing of genetic resources: special issue of Farming Matters

A new special issue of Farming Matters, produced in collaboration with Bioversity International, focuses on how access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources can work for family farmers.Cover_access and benefit sharing

Crop diversity is essential for family farmers. It provides a cost-effective way to improve productivity, manage crop pests and diseases and adapt to climatic and other shocks. It also provides diverse, healthy and nutritious diets. Farmers have safeguarded this rich biodiversity through saving, using, exchanging and selling seed and planting material.

The rights of farmers to continue to do so are at the core of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, an international agreement designed to facilitate the exchange of plant genetic resources. The Treaty also focuses on the right of farmers to participate in decision-making and in the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of plant genetic resources and the need to protect traditional knowledge relevant to these resources. The effective implementation of the Treaty and other access and benefit-sharing agreements, however, represents challenges.

This special issue of Farming Matters, produced in collaboration with Bioversity International, provides examples of formal and informal access and benefit-sharing systems from Costa Rica, Brazil, Iran, China, Rwanda, Uganda and many more countries. The issue also explores the interface between the formal and the informal systems and highlights creative access and benefit-sharing arrangements that are effective for family farmers.

You can download the special issue or one or more articles from the following sites:

http://www.agriculturesnetwork.org/magazines/global/access-and-benefit-sharing-of-genetic-resources

https://www.bioversityinternational.org/news/detail/access-and-benefit-sharing-of-genetic-resources-making-it-work-for-family-farmers/

Ronnie Vernooy

 

 

New book: Community seed banks in Nepal

In Nepal, community seed banks have a long and rich history. Supported in particular by a number of non-government organizations and more recently, also by government agencies, they can be found across the country from the lowland terai to the high hill areas and from east to west. The latest count puts the number of active community seed banks at 115. See, for an example, the story about the Jogimara community seed bank.

Co-editor Pashupati Chaudary presents the new book. Photo: Ronnie Vernooy

Co-editor Pashupati Chaudhary presents the new book. Photo: Ronnie Vernooy

A new book published by LI-BIRD in collaboration with Nepalese partner agencies and Bioversity International, documents and reflects on the contributions of community seed banks to the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity. The various contributions discuss conceptual, practical and policy issues concerning the establishment and management of community seed banks. Lessons learned from the experiences in Nepal will be useful for community seed banks globally. The book can be downloaded for free from the websites of LI-BIRD and Bioversity International.

Notification from Treaty Secretariat – Article 9 Farmers’ Rights

The Treaty Secretariat have posted a Notification on the Treaty website, on 21 September 2012, re-inviting Contracting Parties, international relevant organizations and National Focal Points to submit views, experiences and best practices on the implementation of Article 9 of the Treaty on Farmers’ Rights. By 25 July 2012 the Secretariat had not received any submission. Submissions can be sent to the Treaty Secretariat by e-mail and in hard copy by the extended deadline of 8 October 2012.

Notification en Français

Notificacion en Español

National inception workshop in Nepal

Report by Devendra Gauchan and Ronnie Vernooy, photos by Ronnie Vernooy

A one day national Genetic Resource Policy Initiative (GRPI) 2 inception workshop was jointly organized by the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD)  with the  support of  Bioversity International on 18 June, 2012 at NARI-Hall, NARC, Kathmandu, Nepal. The workshop was attended by 65 participants representing government, NGOs, INGOs, farmer organizations, and Bioversity International. Presentations covered the ITPGRFA and its relevance for Nepal, results and insights from the first phase of the Genetic Resources Policy Initiative, the progress made to date by the phase 2 of the Genetic Resources Policy Initiative, a synthesis of the first national workshop on Community Seed Banks (held in Pokhara June 14-15), an update on the Nepalese Access and Benefit Sharing and the Plant Variety Protection / Farmers’ Rights bills, and commentary on the ITPGRFA by two farmer delegates and by staff of two non-government organizations. Presentations were followed by Question & Answers. Several journalists covered the workshop. They interviewed Devendra Gauchan and Madan Bhatta (NARC), who organized and facilitated the event, about the ITPGRFA and the project activities in Nepal.

Building on the results on the inception workshop, on June 19, the GRPI 2  National Project Management Committee met for one day to review the 5 core themes of the GRPI 2 project, discuss policy development and research activities and identify teams and leaders for each theme and sub-theme. Ronnie Vernooy (Bioversity International) presented the global overview of the GRPI 2 project and provided inputs on the implementation of core themes and sub-themes of the project.

Plant genetic resources policies in India

With the kind permission of the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources (the holder of the copyrights to the articles), we introduce this special issue of the Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources 25 (1), 2012.  The special issue includes two policy papers of interest.

P.L. Gautam, Chairman of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Right Authority, New Delhi, and co-authors offer an overview of the development of legal instruments related to the enactment of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Right Act in various countries, including India, as well as other relevant acts applicable to plant genetic resources (pp. 9-30).

R.S. Rana, Member of the National Biodiversity Authority, India gives a detailed account on the issue of access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources in the article entitled “Accessing PGR and Sharing the Benefits : Experiences in India” (pp. 31-51).

 Two other articles of interest are co-authored by Bioversity International colleagues: “Community Based Approach to On-Farm Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity in Asia” (pp. 97-110) and  “The Patterns of Use and Determinants of Crop Diversity by Pearl Millet Farmers in Rajasthan” (pp. 85-96).

The link to the sepcial issue: http://www.bioversityinternational.org/nc/publications/publication/issue/indian_journal_of_plant_genetic_resources_vol25_no1_2012.html