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The Right to Seeds and Intellectual Property Rights

On the occassion of the third session of the UN Human Rights Council working group for a Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, Dr. Christophe Golay from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, presented the following “legal analysis on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas: The Right to Seeds and Intellectual Property Rights

Dr. Golay legal analysis draws on the right to seeds in the context of the Declaration on the rights of peasants. He argues for the need to recognize the right to seeds in the Declaration while also addressing the recognition of the right to seeds and intellectual property rights in international and national law, exposing their tensions and presenting alternative ways to resolve this in the Rights of Peasants Declaration and outside the human rights system.

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) was adopted on November 3 2001 by the Thirty-First Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. The aim of this treaty is to establish a global system that provides farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials, and ensure that recipients share benefits that derive from the use of these genetic materials. The ITPGRFA also recognizes the contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world.

UN General Assembly resolution on the International Year of Family Farming


On March 2012, the UN General Assembly decided to declare the year 2014, the International Year of Family Farming. This UN resolution affirms that family farming and smallholder farming are an important basis for sustainable food production aimed at achieving food security and encouraged States in this respect, to undertake activities within their respective national development programmes. International Year of Family Farming, 2014

Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity

International agreement created with the aim of sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. Entered into force on 12 October 2014. Nagoya Protocol

The Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives: The conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity and; the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. cbd-en