| FARMERS' RIGHTS IN
The Fourth Session of the
Governing Body: proceedings on Farmers' Rights
in the Plenary by Contracting Parties
After the speech,
Malawi suggested to make an exception from the normal procedures for
this agenda item, and allow a farmer representative to present a statement
before the contracting parties were invited to take the floor. After a brief
discussion, the suggestion was rejected with the condition that considerations
would be made with regard to the procedures for participation of farmers under
the agenda item on Farmers' Rights at the next Governing Body Session.
Malaysia emphasized the importance of Farmers' Rights for the
implementation of the Treaty and suggested that the proposed working group for
the implementation of Article 6 on sustainable use be merged with the proposed
ad hoc group on Farmers' Rights, with a focus on compiling best practices.
Furthermore, Resolution 6/2009 was proposed as a basis for the new resolution,
as the former resolution was not yet implemented.
emphasized that benefit sharing was the weakest point in the Treaty and that
this caused some countries to consider whether they should remain Parties to
the Treaty. In this context Farmers' Rights were considered highly important,
and should be given priority by the Governing Body.
emphasized the importance of Farmers' Rights for the realization of the Treaty
and supported the statement made by Malaysia.
Cyprus on behalf of
the European Regional Group (ERG) stressed the enormous contribution that
local and indigenous communities and farmers have made for the conservation and
sustainable use of crop genetic resources and that the implementation of
Farmers' Rights at the national level requires continued attention by the
Governing Body. It suggested that the Secretariat be given the mandate to
continue to collect and disseminate via the website of the Treaty, views and
experiences related to the realization of Farmers' Rights. Furthermore, it
welcomed the 2010 Global Consultations on Farmers' Rights. Based on the
recommendations from these consultations, the ERG proposed that the Governing
Body request the assistance of the FAO and other relevant international
organizations in the provision of technical and financial support to national
governments in the realization of Farmers' Rights. Also the Governing Body
should consider the need for, and possible development of, voluntary guidelines
and/or checklists and/or model clauses on Farmers' Rights, and the modalities
for organizing a regionally balanced and inclusive process for this. Further
recommendations from the Global Consultations, supported by the ERG was to
improve the participation of stakeholder groups, using the FAO Committee on
World Food Security as a template, and to study how the Multilateral System can
assist farmers to increase and manage diversity on-farm, in particular in
response to climate change.
Kenya, on behalf of Africa, thanked
Ethiopia and the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway, for the 2010 Global
Consultations on Farmers' Rights and supported the recommendation to develop
voluntary guidelines. It also stressed the need for regional consultations as
well as national workshops on the realization of Farmers' Rights.
Canada referred to previous resolutions on Farmers' Rights and
presented the state of realization of Farmers' Rights in Canada. As the
responsibility for realizing these rights rests with national governments, it
was not an issue for the Governing Body, according to Canada. The country would
not support the proposed development of voluntary guidelines. Also there should
not be any requirement to report on the realization of Farmers' Rights, but
contracting parties could be invited to submit information, which the Governing
Body could take note of. Sharing of experiences could be useful and farmers'
participation was welcomed, as long as it would not have financial implications
for the Governing Body.
Norway supported the ERG statement,
reiterated the great importance it attaches to the realization of Farmers'
Rights, and provided support to the idea of establishing an ad hoc working
group to develop voluntary guidelines/checklists/model clauses, subject to the
Work Program and availability of funds. Furthermore, Norway supported Malawi
and emphasized the importance of enhancing the participation of farmers at
Governing Body meetings. Subsequently, Norway encouraged contracting parties
and relevant organizations to provide support to farmer representatives in
order to enable their participation at Governing Body
Nepal, participating as contracting party for the first
time at this session, emphasized the importance of Farmers' Rights and
supported the recommendation of developing voluntary guidelines through a broad
and inclusive process. It further stressed the need for capacity building and
national level workshops on Farmers' Rights. It also proposed that Contracting
Parties submit national reports on the state of Farmers' Rights.
Cuba emphasized the links between Article 9 and 6 (Farmers'
Rights and sustainable use) and welcomed the 2010 Global Consultations on
Farmers' Rights. However, Cuba stressed the continued need for regional
consultations in the regions and their own languages. The Global Consultations
would provide an extremely relevant basis for such regional workshops.
Furthermore, there is an urgent need for capacity building in each country on
the realization of Farmers' Rights, and Cuba emphasized that this would be an
important way that the Governing Body could support the implementation of
Farmers' Rights at the national level.
Brazil emphasized the
close relations between Articles 5, 6 among others and Article 9 on Farmers'
Rights. It further welcomed the Global Consultations in Addis Ababa as rich and
operational. It supported Cuba in the continued need for regional workshops, as
set out in Resolution 6/2009, in their own languages and with proper
participation of farmers.
Australia thanked for the documents
provided by the Secretariat and welcomed the 2010 Global Consultations on
Farmers' Rights. It supported Canada in stressing that Farmers' Rights is a
national responsibility, and that the exchange of national level experiences
would be an adequate measure. Australia would not support a new committee or
the development of voluntary guidelines.
India acknowledged the
2010 Global Consultations on Farmers' Rights and the input paper provided by
Ethiopia. The Indian experience with the 2001 Protection of Plant Varieties and
Farmers' Rights Act was presented. Furthermore, India supported Malaysia in
suggesting to merge the proposed working groups on sustainable use and Farmers'
Rights. Finally, India stressed the importance of capacity building and the
funding of activities geared towards the realization of Farmers' Rights.
Sudan presented its legislation on PGRFA and Farmers' Rights
from 2005 and stressed the need for capacity building. It further thanked for
the Global Consultations in Addis Ababa.
Cameroon responded to
some of the previous countries and in particular to Canada saying that what is
implied by the sentence that the realization of Farmers' Rights rests with
national governments has been the subject of a long standing debate. However,
the Governing Body has an important role to play in supporting governments in
their realization of Farmers' Rights. Cameroon claimed that the Secretariat is
doing little in this regard, and that it had not developed a draft resolution
text on Agenda Item 13, whereas this was done for most of the other agenda
items. It further suggested to reiterate Resolution 6/2009 and supplement it
with items considered necessary at the current
Madagascar supported Africa and praised the initiative
of the Global Consultations on Farmers' Rights. It stressed the need for
financial and technical support for the realization of Farmers' Rights, and in
particular for capacity building. Furthermore, Madagascar stressed the
crosscutting nature of the issue, in particular its relevance for ongoing
processes in the Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and
the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
taking the floor for the second time, supported Norway, and stated that the
implementation of Article 9 is a precondition for the successful implementation
of the whole Treaty. Article 9 is a cornerstone and closely related to other
articles of the Treaty, such as Art. 5, 6 and the Multilateral System. A main
criterion for the provision of funds from the benefit sharing mechanism should
be that they would flow to farmers in developing countries and countries with
economies in transition, who conserve and sustainably use crop genetic
resources. Voluntary guidelines would be necessary for national implementation
of Article 9 at the national level, and should be dealt with by a joint
committee for Articles 6 and 9.
Read about the proceedings of
the discussions on Farmers' Rights at the Fourth Session of the Governing
Introduction to the agenda item by
the Secretary of the ITPGRFA
Presentation of the 2010 Global
Consultations by Dr. Kassahun Embaye, Ethiopia
in the plenary by Contracting Parties
in the plenary by organizations
Informal and formal
discussions leading to the final decisions
on Farmers' Rights
Resolution on Farmers' Rights under the Plant Treaty (Res.
Relevant links and documents:
6/2011 on Farmers' Rights
7/2011 on sustainable use
All documents for
the Fourth Session of the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA
- Implementation of Article 9, Farmers' Rights
- Compilation of views and experiences on the Implementation of Farmer's Rights
submitted by Contracting Parties and relevant organizations
IT/GB-4/11/Circ.1 - Input paper
from the Global Consultations (English)
- Input Paper from the Global Consultations (Spanish)
- Input Paper from the Global Consultations (French)
Speech to the Governing
Body by Dr. Kassahun Embaye, Ethiopia
Report from the 2010
Report from phase one of the 2010 Global
Pages in this
FARMERS' RIGHTS IN ITPGRFA
On the International
Central provisions on
in the Governing Body of the Treaty
The Benefit-Sharing Fund of the
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and
resolution on Farmers' Rights under the Plant Treaty
Little progress on sustainable
use at the Third Session of the Plant Treaty
Global Consultations on Farmers'
The Fourth Session
of the Governing Body