Analysis of How UPOV and WIPO Affect Farmers Rights

“Farmers’ rights” is a core component of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (hereafter referred to as “the Treaty”), and as such its full implementation is a prerequisite for achieving the Treaty’s objectives. It is enshrined in the Treaty’s Article 9. However, there is much concern that the activities of UPOV and WIPO are not supportive of farmers’ rights, and even undermine those rights, thereby hindering the implementation of the Treaty’s provisions.

2013 in Oman, at the fifth session of the Treaty’s Governing Body, a Resolution was adopted which requested the Secretary of the Treaty, “to invite UPOV and WIPO to jointly identify possible areas of interrelations among their respective international instruments.”  

Thus the work on Resolution 8/2013 and any follow-up Resolution should question the way in which UPOV and WIPO support or hinder the implementation of the Treaty’s Article 9. The Berne Declaration and the Third World Network identify some of the key questions that have to be addressed by such an assessment.  

The next session of the Treaty’s Governing Body is to take place on the 5-9th of October 2015 in Rome.