News & Views

International Consortium Calls for Farmers’ Rights based on Biocultural Heritage

SAN FRANCISCO –  An international consortium is calling for a broad-based approach based on biocultural heritage for implementing farmers’ rights under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

The consortium, including IIED, Asociacion ANDES (Peru), Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy (China) and Ecoserve (India), prepared a paper for the Fourth Governing Body of the International Treaty on PGRFA, which gathered in Bali, 14-18 March 2011.

The paper, written by Alejandro Argumedo, Krystyna Swiderska, Michel Pimbert, Yiching Song and Ruchi Pant, argues that “a broad vision and approach that that protects biocultural heritage as a whole is needed to effectively implement Farmers’ Rights under the FAO Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. This means going beyond a focus on protecting farmers’ rights to benefit-sharing, to include protection of farmers’ customary rights over genetic resources and associated landscapes, cultural and spiritual values and customary laws, on which the continued conservation and improvement of PGRs by farmers depends.”

Click here to download the paper.