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Agrobiodiversity

January 2018

FWCC Q&A with Susan Bragdon on Agrobiodiversity

The World Office for the Friends World Committee for Consultation has added a Q&A with Susan Bragdon, Representative, Food & Sustainability on the importance of agricultural biological diversity to human and planetary health to its website containing resources on sustainability.  The Q&A ends with concrete actions people can take to help conserve agricultural biological diversity.  

The Q&A is available below and on the FWCC website

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March 2017

The Evolution of Rights and Responsibilities over Agricultural Biodiversity

This publication explores the concerns driving relevant international instruments with the goal of increasing the understanding needed to achieve coherence and mutual support. Susan H. Bragdon notes the central role inequity plays both amongst the treaties and instruments discussed in this paper as well as in the broader international legal landscape that includes human rights and trade agreements. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals requires understanding of the broader context within which biological diversity related agreements are situated and the real or potential impacts resulting from the different legal regimes. The paper therefore concludes with suggestions on how to create a system that supports the critical role that agricultural biodiversity plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

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March 2017

Foundations of Food Security – Ensuring Support to Small-scale Farmers Managing Agricultural Biodiversity

This paper, discusses the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) agreements established by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the Convention on Biological Diversity, or the Nagoya Protocol. In doing so, Susan H. Bragdon argues that ABS regimes are, and will continue to be, insufficient for generating the benefit necessary to support the innovative activities of small-scale farmers in conserving, managing, and actively developing the majority of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA). After a thorough discussion on why small-scale farmers and PGRFA on-farm and in situ are critical to food and nutrition security and to the resilience and sustainability of agricultural systems, she goes on to maintain that a rights-based approach supported by governments nationally and internationally open broader possibilities of predictable, stable support. She concludes by noting that increased private sector interest in agriculture and food systems is reason for equally vibrant governments acting in the public interest. 

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August 2015

Realizing the right to food in an era of climate change

Agriculture is a major contributor to anthropogenic climate change, and in turn climate change threatens the viability of food production around the world. The spread of capital- and technology-intensive 'industrial' agriculture in the modern era has been accompanied by an erosion of on-farm genetic diversity, a loss of local knowledge, and the abandonment of traditional farming practices. This undermines our capacity to adapt to already-changing climatic conditions.

This report highlights the role of small-scale farmers as innovators and custodians of food system diversity, a critical resource in ensuring the realization of the right to food in an era of climate change. Taking an innovation systems perspective, it proposes a new framework for the design of collaborative agricultural research projects and agendas, and notes the need for pro-active policy measures in creating an enabling environment for such partnerships.

The report is available for download free by clicking on the link below.

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February 2011

Food, Biological Diversity and Intellectual Property

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) influences global policy relating to agricultural research, as it is the only international organisation with responsibility for plant variety protection.

This report seeks to raise awareness about UPOV’s role and way of working. It aims to provide a point of reference around which key actors – both supportive and critical of current approaches to intellectual property (IP) protection of plants – can engage in discussions and exchange of ideas.

The report also discussion the history of Plant Variety Protection (PVP) and Plant Breeders' Rights (PBRs) as well as UPOV's relationship with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the FAO's Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). It also refers to discussions on disclosure of origin of genetic resources, farmers' rights and the WIPO Development Agenda.

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