|Last updated: 23/05/2013|
The Secretary of the International Treaty has the honour to inform Contracting Parties of the launching by Syngenta Crop Protection AG (Syngenta) of a new e-licensing platform that generates contributions to the Benefit-sharing Fund of the International Treaty.
Este ensayo plantea una visión crítica sobre el concepto de “soberanía” y su utilización en el debate sobre ABS, y se construye sobre la base de ideas y planteamiento que unos pocos vienen impulsando desde la década de los años 1990. Esto a partir de la constatación que el objeto sobre el cual se pretende invocar - los recursos genéticos - resultan extremadamente difíciles de someter a controles diseñados para entidades físicas y tangibles.
The essay adopts a critical approach to the concept of "sovereignty" and its role in the ABS debate, grounded in ideas and proposals that have been circulating since the 1990s (theme one). The object of interest–genetic resources–are extremely difficult to submit to controls designed for tangible and physical matter (theme two). The integrating theme of this essay is that the interpretation of "sovereignty" in the debate has been counterproductive for developing an efficient and equitable International Regime on ABS.
This paper examines the implementation of national regimes on access to genetic resources in a number developing countries, particularly in the members of the Andean Community. It discusses the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity that inspired such regimes, the main aspects of the adopted legislation, the expectations that countries had while introducing it and the problems faced by regulatory authorities in dealing with access applications. The paper also analyses the implications of such regimes on research and the extent to which the objectives with regard to benefit sharing have been reached. The problems created by the application of uniform rules to all kinds of genetic resources is also addressed, in connection with the treatment of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA). The paper suggests the need to review the access regimes in order to consider the special case of PGRFA, and to solve the difficulties found in their application.
Running through intellectual property rights topics, this paper focuses on a new international regime, whose idea is to impose conditions on use of patents on inventions developed from genetic materials. Suggestions include approval for uses of products and processes patented from research on genetic materials. Others are to require in patent applications disclosure of the origin of genetic material as well as traditional knowledge in past use of such material. According to the author, the question that the world now faces is which path to take? Market-based contractual arrangements enforced by agreements under national laws or international mechanisms to regulate patent laws to enforce rules on access to genetic resources? It is the position of this paper that market-based approaches offer the best hope for achieving the goals, while an approach of regulating patents risks destroying benefits for everyone.
These voluntary guidelines identify the steps in the access and benefit-sharing process, with an emphasis on the obligation for users to seek the prior informed consent of providers. They also identify the basic requirements for mutually agreed terms and define the main roles and responsibilities of users and providers and stress the importance of the involvement of all stakeholders. They also cover other elements such as incentives, accountability, means for verification and dispute settlement. Finally, they enumerate suggested elements for inclusion in material transfer agreements and provide an indicative list of both monetary and non-monetary benefits. They are expected to assist Parties, Governments and other stakeholders in developing overall access and benefit-sharing strategies, and in identifying the steps involved in the process of obtaining access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing.
The entry into force of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture marks the commitment of the world community to a freestanding convention directed at addressing both global needs for food security and internationally agreed objectives regarding the concepts of ‘access and benefit-sharing’ found in the CBD. The sixth in a series of Guides to the implementation of particular international instruments and concepts, it seeks to promote greater understanding of the Treaty’s text, including some of the scientific, technical and legal issues upon which it is founded, and possible implications.
This paper presents overall considerations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The ITPGRFA, reflecting the new orientation given by the Biodiversity Convention, emphasizes the conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, their sustainable use and benefit sharing. The ITPGRFA focuses on issues not addresed in other international treaties such as farmers' rights but it does not addresses directly patents or plant breeders' rights covered in the TRIPS Agreement and the UPOV Convention respectively.