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Updates on Plant Variety Protection

Issue #23, 9 May 2016

1.     Editorial

2.     Report on UPOV’s 2016 Spring Session

3.     APBREBES Press Release: “UPOV’s Symposium on Interrelations between ITPGRFA & UPOV, Inadequate to Implement "Farmers Rights” Resolutions”

4.     News (TWN Info): Outcome on FAO Treaty/UPOV inter-relations, far cry from expectations.

5.     News (IP Watch): Plant Variety Protection To Meet Food Security Plant Treaty, But Where Are Farmers’ Rights?

6.     New Publication: Changing Seed and Plant Variety Protection Laws in Tanzania

1. Editorial

This Newsletter focuses on discussions that took place at UPOV’s 2016 Spring meetings and key decisions adopted by its executive arm, the Consultative Committee. It also includes reactions to UPOV’s decision to hold a symposium jointly with the ITPGRFA on the interrelations between Article 9 of the ITPGRFA and instruments of UPOV, and a new publication on changing PVP laws in Tanzania.

2. Report on the UPOV’s 2016 Spring Session

The UPOV spring meetings concluded with several decisions: the holding of a joint symposium with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture  (ITPGRFA) on interrelations between Article 9 of the ITPGRFA and instruments of UPOV; UPOV Members to provide comments on a possible “International System of Cooperation” (ISC) and the mandate and terms of reference for a possible ISC working group; deferring the adoption of an Explanatory Note on Propagating Material and referring the matter back to the Administrative and Legal Committee (CAJ); agreeing on the programme for a Seminar on Harvested Material and Propagating Material to be held on 24th October and the preparation by the UPOV Secretariat of a draft FAQ on the relevance of the UPOV system of plant variety protection for the UN Sustainable Development goals (SDGs).

These decisions were taken on 17th March 2016 by UPOV’s executive arm, its Consultative Committee and endorsed by its apex body, the Council.

Read more

3. APBREBES Press Release (1 April 2016): “UPOV’s Symposium on Interrelations between ITPGRFA & UPOV, Inadequate to Implement “Farmers Rights” Resolutions”

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), in its meetings of 17th March, agreed to hold a joint symposium on 26th October with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (“ITPGRFA”) on the interrelations between the ITPGRFA and the UPOV Conventions.

“APBREBES is concerned that this decision backtracks and contradicts the process outlined by the Secretariat of the ITPGRFA in its Notification GB6-028 and is completely inadequate to implement the Resolutions of its Governing Body. There is a risk that the long needed comprehensive analysis of the possible contradictions between the ITPGRFA and UPOV Conventions will never be accomplished”, said Susanne Gura from APBREBES.

Read more

4. News (SUNS): Outcome on FAO Treaty/UPOV inter-relations, far cry from expectations

The meetings of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) ended with a decision to hold a joint symposium on 26 October with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) on the inter-relations between the Treaty and the UPOV Conventions.

The outcome is a far cry from expectations many had with the process of identification of inter-relations, such as the commissioning of an independent study that examines the extent to which the activities of UPOV and WIPO support or hinder farmers' rights, and if a symposium is held, that it should adequately include speakers who are keen on the full realization of Article 9 and particularly from the peasant farming community.

This news article published by the South North Development Monitor presents an insight into discussions in UPOV on the issue of the interrelations, and reports on the reactions of observers of the UPOV system on the Consultative Committee’s decision to hold a joint symposium.

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5. News (IP Watch): Plant Variety Protection To Meet Food Security Plant Treaty, But Where Are Farmers’ Rights?

A planned symposium to identify potential interrelations between the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), and the United Nations International Plant Treaty is raising concerns from civil society about farmers’ rights.

Read more

6. New Publication: Changing Seed and Plant Variety Protection Laws in Tanzania

Seed legislation is under review in Tanzania with a view to changing this in order to further expand the role of the private sector in the commercial seed sector. This law reform is mainly targeted at the seed marketing laws (Seed Act of 2003 and its regulations of 2007) and revision of its Plant Breeder’s Rights legislation.

Read more

Upcoming Events

Autumn 2016 Session of UPOV bodies

Monday, 24 October 2016, Seminar on propagating and harvested material in the context of the UPOV Convention (open to the public)

Monday (evening), 24 October 2016 Meeting on the Development of a Prototype Electronic Form

Tuesday, 25 October, Administrative and Legal Committee

Tuesday (evening), 25 OctoberWorking Group on Variety Denominations

Wednesday, 26th October, Symposium on possible interrelations between the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV Convention)

Thursday, 27 October, Consultative Committee (closed to observers)

Thursday, 27 October (evening), Working Group on a Possible International System of Cooperation

Friday, 28 October, Council

Open-ended intergovernmental working group on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, Human Rights Council

Tuesday-Friday, 17–20 May 2016, Geneva Third Session

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Feedback & Contact

Susanne Gura, Coordinator

Association for Plant Breeding for the Benefit of Society (APBREBES)

Tel: 0049 228 948 0670

Mob: 0049 177 669 1400

Mail: contact@apbrebes.org

Web: www.apbrebes.org

 


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