This Briefing Paper explains how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) complements the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), in particular its Article 9 on Farmers’ Rights, and how their joint implementation is essential for the realization of farmers’ and peasants’ rights.
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The briefing paper highlights the main arguments why Indonesia should not join UPOV - and why it should not be pressured to do so by its northern trading partners.
This research paper aims to identify the extent of the offensive efforts carried out by the European Union in the trade policy pursued by European Commission officials around the globe, advocating the adoption of formalised and strong plant variety protection in trade partners’ national laws.
Because of the negative effects on farmer managed seed systems, APBREBES and Both Ends are demanding the EU to stop requiring developing countries to adopt the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention through trade agreements or any other activities.
The new APBREBES study “Searching for flexibility - Why parties to the 1978 Act of the UPOV Convention have not acceded to the 1991 Act” explores the debates around plant variety protection (PVP) in nine countries that are parties to UPOV 78.
The study reveals the quest of countries for flexibility in their regulation of PVP – flexibility severely restricted under UPOV 1991. The Author demonstrates that by far the most contentious aspect of UPOV 1991 has been its implications for farmers’ rights and peasant seed systems. Countries that have not acceded to the 1991 Act were trying to avoid exacerbating existing conflicts with other domestic and international legal norms, the study found. This highlights the importance of retaining the flexibility to adapt PVP laws to national needs and circumstances and therefore to refrain from acceding to UPOV 91.
The report published by SEARICE, APBREBES and Fastenopfer analyses the factors which led to Vietnam’s agricultural development in the last few decades. The main finding of the research is simple: “While plant breeding is necessary, agricultural development must be detached from the notion that a draconian plant variety protection law is a fundamental prerequisite. The PVP law has marginal effects to crop development. Vietnam’s agricultural development is not the result of the PVP Law, but rather a complex interaction of various interventions by the government.
The new APBREBES publication compiles selected literature on the issue of plant variety protection (PVP) and especially on the relevance and impact of the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) in the context of developing countries. The publication aims to inform policymakers and other stakeholders with robust studies and evidence-based facts, so that policy is not made in a void or absence of knowledge. In this regard, APBREBES hopes that the publication will be beneficial for those working on PVP laws and the related policy questions that may arise. The publication can be downloaded from our Website in English, French, and Spanish.
The new policy brief published by APBREBES speaks about the contradictions between the right that farmers have to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed/propagating material and the Breeders Rights in line with the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91). Those contradictions are a major concern in the negotiations for the realization of Farmers' Rights under the ITPGRFA.
It is often argued by the proponents of the UPOV system, that membership of UPOV is a prerequisite to promote breeding activities and support development of a national seed market. But the recently published Access to Seed Index data seems to confirm that there is no causal relationship between the UPOV system and a dynamic seed sector. On the contrary, countries with a non-UPOV sui generis plant variety protection (PVP) legislation or even without a PVP legislation have in some regions the most vibrant seed sector.
French : Faillite de la protection intellectuelle des obtentions végétales : 10 années d’UPOV en Afrique francophone, Document de travail