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Outcomes from the Seventh Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources

over 2 years ago

The Seventh Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources was held 30 October – 3 November 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda. The theme of the Governing Body was the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Overall, there will be no changes to the multilateral system, standard material transfer agreement or benefit-sharing obligations arising from the meeting.

Meeting highlights

Opening statements from regional representatives and Contracting Parties emphasised the importance of the Treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the need to maintain momentum and continue making meaningful contributions to food security and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Attendees included representatives from

  • 89 Contracting Parties
  • Other governments
  • Civil society organisations
  • Farmers’ organisations
  • Industry
  • Non-government organisations.

Key outcomes included:

  • Agreement to continue the momentum on the enhancement of the Multilateral System
    • Contracting Parties discussed the overarching policy principles of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement including:
      • Multiple access options
      • Mandatory vs voluntary payments
      • Enforceability and claiming damages
      • Termination and withdrawal
  • Launch of the fourth call for project proposals under the Benefit-sharing Fund
  • Agreement to a new approach for reviewing the Funding Strategy to ensure continuity and financial stability
  • Establishment of an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Farmers’ Rights to support countries to find ways to implement farmers’ rights
  • Agreement to develop a master plan on the global information system, describing the functionalities of the system and linking it to existing information systems
  • Agreement on an approach to handle digital sequence information.

In addition, the following intersessional groups will meet over the next biennium.

  • Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Enhancing the Functioning of the Multilateral System to
    • Continue work on revisions of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement
    • Elaborate criteria and options for possible adaptations of the coverage of the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing
  • Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on the Funding Strategy and Resource Mobilisation to
    • Finalise an updated Funding Strategy in line with the following new vision: The funding strategy enables the Governing Body, Contracting Parties, funding agencies, farmers and other relevant actors to secure funding and other resources for the programmatic implementation of the Treaty in a long-term, coordinated, synergistic and effective manner.
  • Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Farmers’ Rights to
    • Produce an inventory of national measures, best practices and lessons learnt of realisation of farmers’ rights
    • Based on the above inventory, develop options for encouraging, guiding and promoting the realisation of farmers’ rights.

The Resolutions from the Seventh Session of the Governing Body have been released and are available here: http://www.fao.org/plant-treaty/meetings/meetings-detail/en/c/888771/#jfmulticontent_c424255-5

If you would like more detailed information, summaries from each day of proceedings are available here: http://enb.iisd.org/biodiv/itpgrfa/gb7/.

If you have any follow-up questions queries please do not hesitate to contact us – PGRFA-Focalpoint@agriculture.gov.au

Categories: Meeting outcomes
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