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.
• 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