Working Paper: Plant Variety Protection in Developing Countries

This working paper is a tool to assist developing countries to design a plant variety protection system that is suitable for the seed and agricultural systems that prevail in their countries and promotes achievement of the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (Nagoya Protocol) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agricultures (ITPGRFA). This tool could also support civil society and farmer organizations engaged in seed policy work and advocating for an appropriate sui generis system.

There is extensive literature on the inappropriateness of the «1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants» (UPOV 1991) for the seed systems of developing countries whereby farmer managed seed systems (also commonly known as the informal seed sector) and the practices of saving, using, exchanging and selling seeds are prevalent.

UPOV 1991 requirements also undermine implementation of the CBD, Nagoya Protocol and the ITPGRFA.   Thus the rationale for this tool is to present an alternative to UPOV 1991, taking into account the realities and conditions as well as alternative sui generis PVP systems that exist in some developing countries.  

About the Paper: Written by Carlos M. Correa, with contributions of Sangeeta Sashikant (Third World Network) and François Meienberg (Berne Declaration), published by APBREBES and its member organizations on October 2015, 2nd edition on December 2015.