|Last updated: 19/06/2013|
One of the core objectives of the Treaty, as described in Article 1, is to ensure a fair and equitable sharing of the benefits that are derived from the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. As the Multilateral System contains the key operative elements of the Treaty, benefit sharing becomes an important element of the System that is integral to the process of access, as described in Article 10.
The provision of benefits under the Treaty goes well beyond the Multilateral System, as can be seen by various references to technical assistance and cooperation in several articles of the text. However, the Treaty’s central benefit sharing provisions are concentrated in Article 13. There are various elements to benefit sharing under this Article and these have already been developed significantly by the Governing Body and the Secretary, with a first round of grants being made under the Funding Strategy at the Third Session of the Governing Body in 2009.
In accordance with the terms and conditions of the SMTA:
• recipients pay an equitable share of financial benefits into the Treaty’s Benefit-sharing Fund whenever a commercialized product resulting from material obtained from the Multilateral System is not freely available for further research and breeding.
• These funds are complemented with voluntary contributions from countries, international foundations and the private sector.
• the funds that accumulate in the Benefit-sharing Fund flow primarily to farmers in developing countries who use and conserve crop diversity.
The Treaty also foresees the sharing of non-monetary benefits from the Multilateral System in the form of:
• exchange of information: making available information such as catalogues and inventories of crop diversity and results of technical, scientific and socio-economic research, for example, research related to characterization, evaluation and utilization of agricultural crops.
• technology transfer: facilitating access by developing countries to technologies for the conservation, characterization, evaluation and use of crop diversity under the Multilateral System. The Treaty encourages all types of partnerships in research and development and in commercial joint ventures, especially relating to the material received, to human resource development, and to effective access to research facilities.
• capacity building: support capacity building through:
o programmes for scientific and technical education and training;
o research facilities in developing countries, and
o scientific research in developing countries in cooperation with national institutions.