The submission to the ITPGRFA by Oxfam (Netherlands), Asociación para la Naturaleza y el Desarrollo Sostenible (Asociación ANDES, Peru), Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT, Zimbabwe), Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE, Vietnam), Centre for Genetic Resources (Netherlands, Wageningen University and Research Centre, CGN-WUR) focuses on the knowledge, views, experiences and best practices on the implementation of Farmers’ Rights, as set up in Article 9 of the International Treaty.

By Carlos M. Correa (University of Buenos Aires), with contributions from Sangeeta Shashikant (Third World Network) and François Meienberg > (Berne Declaration)

Published by: Association for Plant Breeding for the Benefit of Society (APBREBES) and its member organisations: Berne Declaration, Development Fund, SEARICE, Third World Network

(Abstract) The importance of seed provisioning in food security and nutrition, agricultural development and rural livelihoods, and agrobiodiversity and germplasm conservation is well accepted by policy makers, practitioners and researchers. The role of farmer seed networks is less well understood and yet is central to debates on current issues ranging from seed sovereignty and rights for farmers to GMOs and the conservation of crop germplasm. In this paper we identify four common misconceptions regarding the nature and importance of farmer seed networks today.

(From the Abstract) The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) has traditionally been skeptical toward the African Intellectual Property Organization's (OAPI) approval in 1999 of a plant variety protection that was compatible with UPOV 1991, a convention adopted by the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. Recently, however, ARIPO has been rushing through a plant variety protection (PVP) protocol, that in April 2014 was found by the UPOV Council to be in conformity with UPOV 1991.

Abstract: Intellectual property protections on seeds have increased dramatically in recent decades, from the granting of patent-like protections on certain types of seeds in 1970 to the enforcement of contract provisions for seeds beyond the first sale in 2013. During this same period, the seed industry has experienced rapid consolidation.

by Hillary Muheebwa, IP Watch

Member states of African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) have adopted a protocol for the protection of new varieties of plants. The measure is aimed at modernising African agricultural practices, but some say it comes at the expense of age-old traditional farming practices, such as saving and re-using seed.

The protocol adopted during a diplomatic conference held in Arusha, Tanzania, on 6 July is called the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. [Note: The final text is not yet publicly available.]

by Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)

On 06 July 2015, in Arusha, Tanzania, a Diplomatic Conference held under the auspices of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) adopted a harmonised regional legal framework for the protection of plant breeders’ rights—the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (the ‘Arusha PVP Protocol’).

by GIZ

This study commissioned by the German government explores the relations between the Inter­national Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV Convention), Farmers’ Rights as enshrined in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), and human rights, particularly the right to adequate food. The study recommends inter alia that developing countries that have not yet joined UPOV should consider opting for an alternative sui generis system of PVP that allows for more flexibility to meet the obligations of different treaties.

by Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)

Nineteen African nations, members of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), began deliberating on the highly contentious draft ARIPO Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Protocol on Monday, 29th June in Arusha Tanzania. Many of these nations are least developed countries, the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world.

by The Ecologist

Nineteen African nations meet in Arusha, Tanzania, to finalise a 'plant protection' protocol that would open up the continent's seeds to corporate interests, taking away farmers' rights to grow, improve, sell and exchange their traditional seeds, while allowing commercial breeders to make free use of the biodiversity they embody, to sell them back to farmers in 'improved' form.