Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge: Getting the Rules Right for Agriculture: a Key Challenge for WIPO’s IGC
Susan Bragdon and Lynn Finnegan
IP Watch, 1 February 2013

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: In this article, the authors address the crucial relationship between the conservation, development and use of genetic resources and small-scale farmers. They argue that the strength and effectiveness of any treaty addressing intellectual property and genetic resources depends on the meaningful participation of small-scale farmers and those that can represent them, in the IGC deliberations. They argue that the IGC and the countries participating in the negotiations need to understand the development and food security implications of the draft texts relating to the rights and responsibilities over genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Questions, such as what impact do proposed texts have on the rights of farmers to use and exchange seed or on the choice and availability of desired technologies and know-how, need to be asked and explored. The needs and expertise of small-scale farmers are essential to ensure all the pertinent questions are identified and the answers fully explored. Read the article …