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Access and Benefit-sharing for farmers in developing countries

Vinnerljung, Ola LU (2014) JURM02 20141
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations uppskattar att så många som 840 miljoner människor är undernärda, de flesta av dem människor i utvecklingsländer. Samtidigt försöker många parter förbättra och skapa nya växtsorter som ger större skördar, ökade näringsvärden, och andra fördelaktiga egenskaper. Nya växtsorter kan få skydd genom den internationella immaterialrätten vilket gör att ägaren av ett sådant skydd ges rättigheter att begränsa de sätt som växtsorten används.
Nya, förbättrade växtsorter är alltmer beroende av främmande genetiska resurser. Det potentiella värdet av dessa genetiska resurser uttrycks i värdet av den biologiska mångfalden. Länder med stor biologisk mångfald äger med större sannolikhet... (More)
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations uppskattar att så många som 840 miljoner människor är undernärda, de flesta av dem människor i utvecklingsländer. Samtidigt försöker många parter förbättra och skapa nya växtsorter som ger större skördar, ökade näringsvärden, och andra fördelaktiga egenskaper. Nya växtsorter kan få skydd genom den internationella immaterialrätten vilket gör att ägaren av ett sådant skydd ges rättigheter att begränsa de sätt som växtsorten används.
Nya, förbättrade växtsorter är alltmer beroende av främmande genetiska resurser. Det potentiella värdet av dessa genetiska resurser uttrycks i värdet av den biologiska mångfalden. Länder med stor biologisk mångfald äger med större sannolikhet naturresurser av värde än länder med mindre biologisk mångfald, men kan också räkna med högre kostnader för att bevara den biologiska mångfalden. För att kompensera kostnaderna för många u-länder som har störst biologiska mångfald har internationella instrument infört en så kallad ”Access and Benefit-sharing” regim. Användare av genetiska resurser som finns i, och som innehas av ett land behöver få ett förhandsgodkännande och nå ömsesidigt överenskomna villkor med det land som tillhandahåller genetiska resurser innan användaren kan erhålla några genetiska resurser. I vissa fall gäller det ovan sagda också för ex-situ-bevarande.
De fördelar som erhölls från nyttjandet av genetiska resurser skulle då delas med det land som tillhandahöll resurserna, eller i vissa fall delas med en stiftelse som ytterligare skulle fördela vinsterna med jordbrukare, och i synnerhet jordbrukare i utvecklingsländerna. Dock är fördelningen av vinsterna i första hand ett incitament för stater att bevara den biologiska mångfalden, inte för enskilda personer att göra det. Dessutom är många förmåner som förvärvas genom forskning inte anpassat till behoven i utvecklingsländerna, utan gäller grödor och tekniker som inte är lämpliga för utvecklingsländer.
De fördelar som jordbrukare i utvecklingsländerna sannolikt direkt får se och ta del av förlitar sig fortfarande till stor del på de förbättrade växtsorter och tekniker som sannolikt kan bli skyddade av den internationella immaterialrätten. Dessutom kan den bevarade biologiska mångfalden fungera som ett skyddsnät mot effekterna av genetisk utarmning som kan uppstå i framtiden. (Less)
Abstract
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations estimates that as many as 840 million people are undernourished, most of them living in developing countries. Meanwhile many parties are looking to improve and create new plant varieties that gain greater yields, increased nutritional values, and other beneficial traits. These new plant varieties can gain protection by the international intellectual property regime allowing the owner of such protection to limit the ways in which the plant variety is used.
Increasingly, new, improved plant varieties are dependent on foreign genetic resources. The potential value of these genetic resources is expressed in the value of biological diversity. Countries with large biological... (More)
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations estimates that as many as 840 million people are undernourished, most of them living in developing countries. Meanwhile many parties are looking to improve and create new plant varieties that gain greater yields, increased nutritional values, and other beneficial traits. These new plant varieties can gain protection by the international intellectual property regime allowing the owner of such protection to limit the ways in which the plant variety is used.
Increasingly, new, improved plant varieties are dependent on foreign genetic resources. The potential value of these genetic resources is expressed in the value of biological diversity. Countries with large biological diversity are more likely to possess natural resources of value than countries with smaller resources, but can also expect greater costs for preserving that biodiversity. To offset the costs for many developing countries that possess the greatest biological diversity international instruments put in place an Access and Benefit-Sharing regime. Users of genetic resources found in and held by a country would need to obtain a prior informed consent and reach mutually agreed terms with the country providing the genetic resources before it could obtain any genetic resources. In some cases, the above would also apply to ex-situ holdings.
The benefits gained from the utilization of the genetic resources would then be shared with the country providing the resources, or in some cases shared with a benefit-sharing fund that would further share the benefits with farmers, and in particular farmers of developing countries. However, the benefit-sharing regime is primarily an incentive for states to preserve biodiversity, not for individuals to do so. Furthermore, many benefits acquired through research are not adapted to the needs of developing countries but go into crops and management techniques not suitable for developing countries.
The benefits that farmers in the developing world are likely to directly see and take part of still rely in large part on the improved plant varieties and crop management techniques that are capable of gaining protection under the international intellectual property regime. Moreover, the conserved biodiversity may act as a safety net against the effects of genetic erosion that may arise in the future. (Less)
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author
Vinnerljung, Ola LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20141
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Access and Benefit-sharing, Folkrätt, Immaterialrätt
language
English
id
4451449
date added to LUP
2014-06-12 09:05:05
date last changed
2014-06-12 09:05:05
@misc{4451449,
  abstract     = {The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations estimates that as many as 840 million people are undernourished, most of them living in developing countries. Meanwhile many parties are looking to improve and create new plant varieties that gain greater yields, increased nutritional values, and other beneficial traits. These new plant varieties can gain protection by the international intellectual property regime allowing the owner of such protection to limit the ways in which the plant variety is used. 
Increasingly, new, improved plant varieties are dependent on foreign genetic resources. The potential value of these genetic resources is expressed in the value of biological diversity. Countries with large biological diversity are more likely to possess natural resources of value than countries with smaller resources, but can also expect greater costs for preserving that biodiversity. To offset the costs for many developing countries that possess the greatest biological diversity international instruments put in place an Access and Benefit-Sharing regime. Users of genetic resources found in and held by a country would need to obtain a prior informed consent and reach mutually agreed terms with the country providing the genetic resources before it could obtain any genetic resources. In some cases, the above would also apply to ex-situ holdings. 
The benefits gained from the utilization of the genetic resources would then be shared with the country providing the resources, or in some cases shared with a benefit-sharing fund that would further share the benefits with farmers, and in particular farmers of developing countries. However, the benefit-sharing regime is primarily an incentive for states to preserve biodiversity, not for individuals to do so. Furthermore, many benefits acquired through research are not adapted to the needs of developing countries but go into crops and management techniques not suitable for developing countries. 
The benefits that farmers in the developing world are likely to directly see and take part of still rely in large part on the improved plant varieties and crop management techniques that are capable of gaining protection under the international intellectual property regime. Moreover, the conserved biodiversity may act as a safety net against the effects of genetic erosion that may arise in the future.},
  author       = {Vinnerljung, Ola},
  keyword      = {Access and Benefit-sharing,Folkrätt,Immaterialrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Access and Benefit-sharing for farmers in developing countries},
  year         = {2014},
}