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The objective of the agreed interpretation is to achieve greater acceptance of the International Undertaking, and to strengthen the conservation, use and availability of germplasm, through mechanisms recognizing and legitimizing the rights to be compensated of both germplasm donors and donors of funds and technology. This has been accomplished through the simultaneous and parallel recognition of plant breeders' rights and farmers' rights. The agreed interpretation set forth hereinafter is intended to lay the bases for an equitable, and therefore solid and lasting, global system, and thereby to facilitate the withdrawal of reservations which countries may have made with regard to the International Undertaking, and to secure the adherence of others.

  1. Plant breeders' rights as provided for under UPOV are not. incompatible with the International Undertaking;
  2. a state may impose only such minimum restrictions on the free exchange of materials covered by Article 2.1 (a) of the International Undertaking as are necessary for it to conform to its national and international obligations;
  3. states adhering to the Undertaking recognize the enormous contribution that farmers of all regions made to the conservation and development of plant genetic resources, which constitute the basis of plant production throughout the world, and which form the basis for the concept of farmers' rights;
  4. the adhering states consider that the best way to implement the concept of farmers' rights is to ensure the conservation management and use of plant genetic resources, for the benefit of present and future generations of farmers. This could be achieved through appropriate means, monitored by the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, including in particular the International Fund for Plant Genetic Resources, already established by FAO. To reflect the responsibility of those countries which have benefitted most from the use of germplasm, the Fund would benefit from being supplemented by further contributions from adhering governments, on a basis to be agreed upon, in order to ensure for the Fund a sound and recurring basis. The International Fund should be used to support plant genetic conservation, management and utilization programmes, particularly within developing countries, and those which are important sources of plant genetic material. Special priority should be placed on intensified educational programmes for biotechnology specialists, and strengthening the capabilities of developing countries in genetic resources conservation and management, as well as the improvement of plant breeding and seed production.

It is understood that:

  1. the term "free access" does not mean free of charge, and
  2. the benefits to be derived under the International Undertaking are part of a reciprocal system, and should be limited to countries adhering to the International Undertaking.

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