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INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES AND RELATED BIOTECHNOLOGIES'

José Esquinas-Alcázar*

'Secretary, FAO Inter-Governmental Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Abstract: The chapter describes three international agreements that have been or are being negotiated by countries through the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, focusing primarily on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which entered into force in June, 2004. The economic, technical, and legal issues which arose over the long negotiating process of this multilateral agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources are described, as well as their implications for the design of the Treaty. The chapter describes the Treaty's multilateral system of access to, and the sharing of benefits resulting from the use of plant genetic resources, including provisions on how it relates to intellectual property rights. It also discusses the role of Farmers' Rights through which governments can protect relevant local knowledge, and recognizes farmers' rights to equitable benefit-sharing and to participate in relevant national decisions providing access and benefits to farmers from plant genetic resources. The chapter includes a discussion of the International Code of Conduct for Plant Germplasm Collecting and Transfer, and the negotiations on a Code of Conduct on Biotechnology as it relates to genetic resources for food and agriculture.

1 Negotiated By Countries Through the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Key words: access and benefit-sharing; agricultural production; agriculture; biodiversity;

biotechnology regulation, centers of diversity; Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; Farmers Rights; in situ conservation; International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; plant genetic resources for food and agriculture; plant germplasm collecting.

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