by Mohamed Coulibaly, Robert Ali Brac de la Perrière, with contributions from Sangeeta Shashikant

In 1999, under the influence of Geneva-based institutions, developed countries and their seed industry, OAPI introduced Annex X on plant variety protection – modelled on UPOV 1991 – into the regional Bangui Agreement. The adoption of Annex X followed promises of agricultural transformation through emergence of a competitive commercial seed sector, foreign investment in breeding, the availability of new foreign plant varieties, significant royalty incomes for national research institutes and overall greater benefit for all levels of society.

More than 10 years after Annex X entered into force on 1 January 2006, the Working Paper studies how Annex X has been operationalized, the impact and relevance of UPOV 1991 for the region and, in particular, whether the promises of UPOV 1991 were ever realized for the 17 countries in the OAPI region.

by Francois Meienberg

UPOV’s bodies met in Geneva from 28th October to 2nd November.

The main topics of this report are the discussions on the Explanatory Note on Essentially Derived Varieties, the meeting of ISC Working Group, the Interrelations with the International Treaty and the examination of the conformity of the PVP Act of Afghanistan.

We took note, that no progress was made in the development of the FAQ regarding Interrelations with the International Treaty. We regret the delay in the process. Not because we believe that a revised FAQ will have a fundamental impact on the interrelations between UPOV and the International Treaty, this will certainly not be the case, but because it was decided at the Meeting of the Consultative Committee last year that „As a next step, the Consultative Committee would consider the need for a revision of the current guidance in the “Explanatory Notes on Exceptions to the Breeder's Right under the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention”. And now we see that this step has not been made.

by Sangeeta Shashikant & Susanne Gura

The 2017 Autumn meetings for UPOV’s decision-making bodies ended with a number of decisions with consequences for implementation of Farmers’ Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Below a report is provided on some of the key decisions taken and its impact.

UPOV’s bodies met in Geneva from 23rd to 27th October.

by Alliance for Fod Sovereignty in Africa

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) continues to pointedly exclude African civil society and farmer representation from its meetings, in blatant disregard of principles of good democratic governance and participation as emphasized in multiple International Treaties and UN Human Rights guidance. This is going on despite

by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) met a few days ago and took a number of decisions, such as approving its budget for the 2018/2019 biennium, adopting a document describing the union’s contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the extension of the appointment of its vice secretary general. Civil society, however, has issues with UPOV’s take on its contributions to the SDGs. They also reiterated their request that farmers be included in UPOV’s decisionmaking.


Several UPOV bodies will be meeting in Geneva for its autumn session during the week of 23rd to 27th October 2017. Its main rule-making body, the Consultative Committee (CC) will meet on 25th October, and UPOV’s highest decision-making body, the UPOV Council will hold its meeting on 26th October. The proceedings of the CC, where Council decisions are prepared, is closed to observers. The Working Group on a possible International System of Cooperation (WG-ISC) will meet on 24th October, also without the presence of observers.


Several UPOV bodies and working groups met between 3rd and 7th April 2017. UPOV reports and documents of the session are available here. The meeting documents of two bodies , the Consultative Committee and the Working Group on a Possible International System of Cooperation, are not accessible to the public by UPOV. They are made publicly accessible here by APBREBES, thanks to the Freedom of Information legislation of UPOV member countries.

by AFSA, ACB and Pelum

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), the African Center on Biodiversity (ACB) and PELUM Association, representing civil society organizations and farmers of their networks, call on the Director General of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) to urgently provide in writing, full information on the outcomes of the Administrative Council with regard to the Draft Regulations to the Arusha Protocol.