Outstanding Issues on Access and Benefit Sharing under the Multilateral System of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
Claudio Chiarolla and Stefan Jungcurt
The Berne Declaration and Development Fund (March 2011)

This study assesses the state of implementation of the Treaty’s Multilateral System for Access and Benefit-sharing (MLS), seven years after the Treaty came into force. The study finds that overall implementation of the MLS has been slow and identifies a need for several measures to allow for an implementation of the MLS in a way that achieves the objectives of the Treaty. The first part of the study assesses the access-part of the MLS and the inclusion of plant genetic resources into the system. Less than one-sixth of the parties have notified which collections they are placing in the MLS and provided the documentation necessary to facilitate access. The second part assesses the state of benefit-sharing under the MLS as well as the extent and nature of voluntary payments. This study finds that voluntary contributions to the benefit-sharing fund do not take into account whether (and the extent to which) such contributions are additional to resources that were previously earmarked for agriculture and development projects in general. With regard to in situ material held by local communities, the study recommends that the Governing Body should: clarify the scope of Article 12.3 and its relation to national and international legislation on access and benefit-sharing, prior informed consent, and rights of indigenous and local communities; explore the use of bio-cultural protocols and other instruments to develop terms and procedures for accessing materials held by local communities; and develop options for realizing benefit-sharing at the community level, in particular through programs of participatory plant breeding and other collaborative projects, including the provision of assistance to communities for accessing funds from the benefit-sharing fund. Download the paper [pdf] …

Sharing a treasure: from Peru to Ethiopia
ITPGR Secretariat (2010)

This video introduces the Peruvian farmers and their array of traditional potato varieties, as well as their traditional farming methods. It also follows a group of Ethiopian farmers visiting the indigenous villages located in the potato park: the two groups realize that they face similar problems and also have some similar attitudes toward dealing with their problems. The video offers an example of the ways that local people are willing and able to tackle challenges such as climate change and the global food crisis. View the video in English … View the video in Spanish …