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International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Progress on the implementation of Farmers’ Rights

There has been an increasing awareness on the need to promote the realization of Farmers’ Rights. The growing awareness and importance of the implementation of Farmers’ Rights has been addressed at each session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty. At its Seventh Session, in November 2017, through Resolution 7/2017, the Governing Body: 

  • Invites each Contracting Party to consider developing national action plans for implementation of Article 9, as appropriate and subject to national legislation, in line with implementation of Articles 5 and 6 of the International Treaty, and to share information regarding progress with the development and implementation of such action plans;
  • Invites each Contracting Party to engage farmers’ organizations and relevant stakeholders in matters related to the realization of Farmers’ Rights as set out in Article 9 of the International Treaty, the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and to promote awareness-raising and capacity-building towards this aim;
  • Invites Contracting Parties to promote sustainable biodiverse production systems and facilitate participatory approaches such as community seed banks, community biodiversity registries, participatory plant breeding and seed fairs as tools for realizing Farmer’s Rights as set out in the Article 9 of the International Treaty, as appropriate;
  • Invites Contracting Parties and relevant organizations to take initiatives to convene further regional workshops and other consultations with a broad range of stakeholders, including with farmers’ organizations, particularly those in the centres of origin and crop diversity, for the exchange of knowledge, views and experiences on the realization of Farmers’ Rights, as set out in Article 9 of the International Treaty, and present the results at the Eighth Session of the Governing Body;
  • Invites Contracting Parties and all relevant stakeholders, especially farmers’ organizations, to submit views, experiences and best practices as an example of possible options for national implementation of Article 9 of the International Treaty, as appropriate and subject to national legislation, in preparation for the inventory, and requests the Secretary to compile and submit this input to the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Farmers’ Rights;
  • Commends the Secretariat for the work undertaken to finalize and publish the Educational Module on Farmers’ Rights, and requests the Secretary and invites Contracting Parties to disseminate and use the Educational Module;
  • Invites each Contracting Party that has not already done so, to consider reviewing, and, if necessary, adjusting national measures affecting the realization of Farmers’ Rights in particular regulations concerning variety release and seed distribution, to protect and promote Farmers’ Rights, as set out in the Article 9 of the International Treaty, as appropriate and subject to national legislation;
  • Calls upon Contracting Parties to support the activities outlined in this Resolution, including through the provision of financial resources;

Resolution 7/2017 also requests the Secretariat of the International Treaty to undertake several activities. These include:

  • Facilitate such initiatives upon request, and depending on the available resources;
  • Continue implementing the Joint Capacity Building Programme on Farmers’ Rights, with the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and other relevant stakeholders, especially farmers’ organizations, subject to availability of financial resources;
  • Thanks the Secretary and the Office of UPOV for co-organizing the Symposium on possible interrelations between the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the International Convention for the Protection of New Variety of Plants, and requests the Secretary, subject to availability of financial resources, to continue the process of identifying possible areas of interrelations between the International Treaty, in particular its Article 9, and the UPOV Convention as well as to explore the possibility of carrying out a similar process with the relevant instruments of WIPO, in cooperation with the WIPO Secretariat and in an inclusive and participatory manner;
  • Welcomes the decision of the UPOV Council to review the FAQ on the interrelations between the UPOV Convention and the International Treaty and exchange of experience and information on the implementation of the UPOV Convention and the International Treaty, and requests the Secretary to explore how Contracting Parties of the Treaty could further contribute to these processes, and to continue the dialogue with UPOV on these matters.

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