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FARMERS' RIGHTS IN ITPGRFA:

Implementation of Article 6 at earlier sessions of the Governing Body

Since the First Session of the Governing Body in Madrid, 2006, sustainable use of crop genetic resources, as set out in Article 6 of the Plant Treaty, has been given priority in the work of this Body, and decisions have been adopted, which brought the work forward.

At its First Session, the Governing Body decided that the implementation of Article 6 should be a component of its programme of work, and a standing item on its agenda, as a priority. It started collecting information from the Contracting Parties on the implementation of the provisions and adopted further measures:

19. The Governing Body considered the document, Implementation of Article 6 of the International Treaty: Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources. It thanked the Government of Switzerland for having convened an expert workshop on this topic and noted the document, Implementation of Article 6 of the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Swiss input paper, which had been prepared in the context of the workshop, and circulated at the request of the Government of Switzerland.

20. The Governing Body stressed the importance of implementing Article 6 of the Treaty, Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources, in the light of its linkages with other Articles of the Treaty, in particular Article 5, Conservation, Exploration, Collection, Characterization, Evaluation and Documentation of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; Article 7, National Commitments and International Cooperation; and Article 18, Financial Resources.

21. The Governing Body stressed that Contracting Parties will assume the major role in enhancing the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and noted that its main contribution would be to develop and facilitate partnerships and cooperation in the country-driven implementation of Article 6. Options for the implementation of Article 6 include capacity-building, awareness-raising and education, cooperation with other institutions, and integration with other initiatives.

22. The Governing Body decided that the implementation of Article 6 should be a component of its programme of work, and a standing item on its agenda, as a priority. It decided to engage in an in-depth consideration of the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture following a staged approach, beginning from its next session.

23. The Representative of the Convention on Biological Diversity noted that sustainable utilization is an objective of the Convention. He described relevant current work programmes of the Convention, particularly the Programme of Work on Agricultural Biological Diversity, which would be reviewed in 2008, and outlined the cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition.

24. The Governing Body invited Contracting Parties, other governments, and relevant institutions and organisations to submit to the Secretary information on policy and legal measures relevant to Article 6.1 of the Treaty, as well as other relevant information, for example on workshops or studies. The compilation of such information, together with information on relevant measures undertaken in the Convention on Biological Diversity and by the International Agricultural Research Centres, as well as other relevant institutions, should serve as a basis to assess progress in implementing Article 6, at a future session of the Governing Body.

25. The Governing Body emphasized the need to avoid duplication of efforts, especially in light of the implementation of the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and preparations by the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture for the second Report on the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

26. The Governing Body further invited Contracting Parties, other governments, and relevant institutions and organisations to support the further examination and elaboration of the issues, and undertake other practical measures that could contribute to the implementation of Article 6 and related provisions, including through capacity-building and organising or hosting consultations, workshops and related studies.

27. The Governing Body requested the Secretary to look into ways to facilitate the participation of civil society organisations, in particular farmers’ organisations, in the work of the Treaty, especially the implementation of Article 6.


At its Second Session, the Governing Body reiterated the high importance it attaches to the promotion of Article 6 for the successful implementation of the Treaty, and stressed that it should continue to be a component of its Programme of Work, and a standing item on its agenda. It requested the Secretary to prepare a comprehensive document for its next session, covering the status of the implementation of Article 6, including information on policy and legal measures used to achieve the objectives of the Article. It invited submissions from Contracting Parties, other governments and relevant institutions, and urged an improved process for information gathering on the sustainable use activities, including means such as surveys, conceptual frameworks, inter-sessional meetings and workshops:

70. The Governing Body considered the document, Compilation and Analysis of Submissions by Contracting Parties and Other Relevant Organizations Concerning the Implementation of Article 6,11 and the information document, Information Received from Relevant Organizations Concerning the Implementation of Article 6.

71. The Governing Body reiterated the high importance it attaches to the promotion of Article 6 for the successful implementation of the Treaty. It stressed that Article 6 should continue to be a component of its Programme of Work, and a standing item on its agenda. Capacity building, research and availability of financial resources were considered to be integral components for the implementation of Article 6.

72. The Governing Body requested the Secretary to prepare a comprehensive document at its next session covering the status of the implementation of Article 6, which includes information on policy and legal measures used to achieve the objectives of the Article. It invited submissions from Contracting Parties, other governments, and relevant institutions and organizations, and urged an improved process for information gathering on the sustainable use activities, including means such as surveys, conceptual frameworks, inter-sessional meetings and workshops.

73. The Governing Body stressed the need for Contracting Parties to cooperate with the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture for the periodic assessment of the state of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, in order to facilitate the updating of the rolling Global Plan of Action for the Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, as required by Article 17.3.

74. The Governing Body emphasized the importance of country-driven initiatives and programmes, as well as international cooperation and partnerships for the effective implementation of Article 6. It further acknowledged it had an important role to play in providing policy guidance and facilitating cooperation to support the successful implementation of the Article.

Central links and documents:
   Report of the First Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
   Report of the Second Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture



Pages in this sub-section:
   FARMERS' RIGHTS IN ITPGRFA
   New resolution on Farmers' Rights under the International Treaty
   Little progress on sustainable use at the Third Session of the Plant Treaty
   Implementation of Article 6 at earlier sessions of the Governing Body
   Documents on sustainable use for the Third Session of the Governing Body
Top top
 In this section:
  ABOUT FARMERS' RIGHTS
  Farmers' Rights in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
  Why Farmers' Rights matter
  The contents of Farmers' Rights
  History of Farmers' Rights in the FAO
  Farmers' Rights in the literature
  Civil Society Organizations' approaches to Farmers' Rights

Photo: G. Ulutuncok

Page last updated 1 July 2009