Working Paper on Farmers' Right to Participate in Decision-making

APBREBES Working Paper on Farmers' Right to Participate in Decision-making
 
The right of farmers to participate in making decisions, at the national level, on matters related to the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) is recognized in Article 9.2(c) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Treaty). It is a prerequisite for the full and effective implementation of Farmers’ Rights. Of particular concern is decision-making related to UPOV and other intellectual property systems, bilateral, regional and pluri-lateral trade or intellectual property agreements as well as seed certification and marketing laws. 
Chee Yoke Ling et al., (September 2016) Farmers’ Right to Participate in Decision-making – implementing Article 9.2 (c) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, Working Paper, APBREBES
 

Message to the International Treaty!

To sign or support the appeal, please send us back the name of your organization :

• Mauro Conti, IPC ( International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty ): ipc- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Émilie Lapprand, French Farmers' seeds network ( Réseau Semences Paysannes) : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PROPOSED MESSAGE FROM THE SEMENCES PAYSANNES (Farmers' seeds) NETWORKS TO MEMBER GOVERNMENTS OF THE GOVERNING BODY
OF THE INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES (IT PGRFA)
 
Meeting in Rome 5-9 October 2015

We want to tell you that you are in the process of destroying the treaty. It is organising the theft of our seeds and our knowledge. We can no longer continue to give them to researchers and other prospectors that come and collect them in our fields, to then put them in the Treaty’s gene banks. As long as you do not ban all bio-pirated patents, as long as farmers do not have a right to keep, use, exchange and sell seeds from their own harvests, then we will not collaborate with research and gene banks that serve the multinational seed companies.

The grains kept in genetic resource banks run by the multilateral system of the Treaty on Plants (IT PGRFA) belong to us: they are our inheritance from many centuries of farmers selection, and they have been collected in our fields.

However we are often refused access to seeds of peasant variety because we are not researchers. Sometimes we obtain some grains on the condition that we do not use them for agricultural production: they can only be used for research purposes. We have stated that their conservation in cold chambers is not appropriate and that they need several years of new selection before the harvests can be donated in the current growing conditions. However those of us who undertake the collection and safeguarding of genetic resources are forbidden to exchange or sell them to other farmers, it is usually restrained by seed laws and regulations in the majority of the countries which take part in the treaty.

The treaty promised equitable sharing of the profit created by the industry using our seeds for their own selections. After 10 years we have not seen this, rather a shift in the opposite direction. Farmers have given seeds to industry; industry never paid for them, and the little money that governments donated has not been given to peasant organisations, but has consolidated international industry’s research programmes. We gave our seeds free of charge to the seed banks, and we accept that industry uses the useful varieties. But when we use these varieties, laws in the majority of signatory countries, require us to pay royalties, or forbid us to use the seeds that have come from our own harvests, asserting that they are now property of the industry. 
 
We inherited our seeds from our parents, we have looked after them carefully, selected and conserved them for future generations. We have given them to the treaty along with our knowledge, as we have always been proud to share the results of our work. We thought that we were protected against their being appropriated by industry property laws, such as plant breeders’ laws and patents. But now you say that you are going to launch the Divseek programme, to scan the genetic sequences of the resources in the gene bank so as to publish them in electronic databases. This programme was not created for us, we do not grow genetic sequences, or megabytes, and we do not need this information. But industry created the search engines and software to process all of the ‘genetic information’ in their database, for it to be patented and associated with some favourable characteristic, useful for agriculture, or the industrial processing of harvests. These patents on the ‘functional units of heredity’ are already legal in many countries and they will prevent us from keeping the opportunity to grow our seeds, the very seeds that we gave free of charge to the treaty seed banks.

We had a period of dialogue with the treaty. But despite the governing body’s decision in Bali in 2011 and in Oman in 2013, spaces for dialogue closed up, preventing us from participating to working groups or expert consultations in an efficient and formalized manner that will respect our organisational autonomy. Peasants organisations that are working in their fields to implement articles 5 and 6 of the Treaty on in situ conservation and the sustainable use of seeds and those that fight for the implementation of article 9 on the rights of farmers are always considered as ‘observers’, with the same statute as academics or journalists, while there are the main actors and on the front line of managing the very genetic plant resources that the Treaty defends! Yet Industry is courted and imposes its own solutions.

As long as the Treaty is not reformed to fully apply articles 5,6 and 9, we will continue to create our own multilateral exchange system between peasants. We are calling on governments to support our movement, basis of food sovereignty.
 
Signatories - September 2015

1) Farmers and gardeners organizations

•   African Centre for Biodiversity, Soutn Africa and Tanzania

•   AJAC LUKAAL, l'Association des Jeunes Agriculteurs de Casamance "Plantons", Sénagal

•   ANMI, Asamblea Nacional de Mapuches de Izquierda, Chili

•   ANAMURI, Asociación Nacional l de Mujeres Rurales e Indígenas, Chili

•   BEDE ( Biodiversité : Echanges et Diffusion d'Expériences ), France

•   Bio Burkina Faso, Burkina Faso.

•   Campaña Semillas de Identidad, Colombia.

•   COASP, Comité ouest africain des Semences Paysannes et l’ensemble de ses membres, Western Africa

•   CONAPROCH, Confederación Nacional de Pequeños Productores, Chili

•   COPACO-PRP, Confédération Paysanne du Congo, Democratic Républic of Congo

•   ECVC, European Coordination Via Campesina

•   Fahamu Africa et le mouvement des femmes “ Nous sommes la solution”, Western Africa

•   Ferme école Agroécologique Benkadibugu, Mali

•   FOOL AVOINE, pour une biodiversité sans OGM ni brevet, France

•   Landworkers' Alliance , United-Kingdom

•   MAELA, Mouvement agroécologique de l'Amérique latine et les Caraïbes

•   MABD, Mouvement de l’Agriculture Biodynamique, France

•   MPA, Movimento dos pequenos agricultores, Brasil

•   Ranquil, Confederación Nacional Campesina y de Pueblos originarios, Chili

•   Red de Semillas Campesinas, Argentina

•   Redes de semillas campesinas (RSC), Columbia

•   Red de Semillas Libres, Colombia

•   Red de Semillas "Resembrando e Intercambiando", Spain

•   RESACIFROAT, Réseau d'Appui à la Citoyenneté des Femmes Rurales d'Afrique de l'Ouest et du Tchad, Western Africa

•   Réseau Semences Paysannes (RSP), France

•   Rete Semi Rurali, Italy

•   Union Paysanne, Canada.

2) Supports

•   Alkhalachofa, grupo de consumo responsable, Alcala de Henares, Spain

•   Australian Food Sovereignty, Australia

•   Burkinature, Burkina Faso

•   Chile Sustentable, Chile

•   Doman chalosse vivante, France

•   FIAN, Colombia

•   Foro Ambiental Santiagueño, Argentina

•   Laura Gutiérrez Escobar, Red de Semillas Libres de Colombia et FIAN, Colombia

•   Myriam del Carmen Salazar Villarreal Doctora en Agroecología, Colombia

•   Terra Nuova ONLUS, Italy

   Vía Orgánica, Mexicowrite this message which is currently already gathering more than 30 organizations from Africa, America, Australia or Europe.

 

Join us and contribute with your signature or your support ! 

Outdoor Laboratories for Agrobiodiversity

Forum of the Outdoor Laboratories for Agrobiodiversity

in Montpellier April 30, 2015 - from 14:00 to 17:30

Institut des Régions chaudes

Montpellier SupAgro - 1101, Avenue Agropolis

 The Outdoor Laboratories method was started in 2013 to establish collaborative research programs, based on priorities defined by peasant farmers engaged in an ecological transition of their ways of farming. The activities are focused on questions formed by the farmers and researchers together in the different areas (Languedoc-Roussillon in France, Kabylia and Mzab in Algeria, and Djougou in Benin) aimed at enhancing agricultural biodiversity.
A forum is organized on April 30 to reflect the results of the collective method and to open the reflection to the entire scientific community.

Got to web page!

 

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BEDE

Biodiversity: Exchange and dissemination of Experiences Read More
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Crocevia

Crocevia - CIC Read More
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DKNV

Dachverband Kulturpflanzen und Nutztiervielfalt e. V. Read More
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PSR

ProSpecieRara - PSR Read More
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RdS

Red de Semillas - RdS Read More
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RSP

Réseau Semences Paysannes – RSP Read More
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RSR

Rete Semi Rurali - RSR Read More
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SCF

Scottish Crofting Federation Read More
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