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Third Intersessional Meeting of the Contact Group of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Tehran, Iran 
26-31 August 2000




Third Intersessional Meeting of the Contact Group of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food &  Agriculture


Briefing note for Tuesday, 29 August 2000

The Third Inter-sessional Contact Group met in morning and afternoon sessions to continue consideration of Article 13 (Facilitated Access to Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture within the Multilateral System) and Article 14 (Benefit-Sharing in the Multilateral System). Article 13.2(g), on the continued availability of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) by recipients of those PGRFA, was agreed as drafted without discussion. In discussion on Article 13.2(h), on emergency disaster situations, delegates discussed: whether it should reference all countries, not just Parties; its linkage to international relief efforts; the scope of its application and the difficulties of undertaking the task within the Multilateral System.


In Article 13.4 (13.3 is currently a place-marker pending discussion on Article 13.2(h)), on providing facilitated access to International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs) under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) delegates discussed whether relevant references should be made throughout the text of the revised International Undertaking or in a separate article. Article 13.5, which addresses access to PGRFA for non-Parties, generated significant debate over the need for such a provision and what types of incentives and/or disincentives would be most appropriate should the provision be included. Delegates debated whether Article 13.6 should address the �means of collection of� or �access to� PGRFA found in in situ collections. Key elements of the discussion included: whether the provision explicitly addresses access issues or the physical collection of genetic resources; movement of the provision to the sub-paragraph on conditions for access; and whether to include language on providing access to government designated in situ areas or programmes.


In Article 14.1, regarding the notion that access is itself a major benefit, Parties debated the inclusion or deletion of language stating that access is subject benefit-sharing and the need to maintain symmetry with language in Article 13. Delegates discussed the chapeau of Article 14.2, addressing the types of benefits to be shared, debating, inter alia, inserting reference to commercial use. Delegates accepted Article 14.2(a), on exchange of information, without substantive debate. Delegates also discussed two provisions under Article 14.2(b) on access to and transfer of technology, specifically addressing: technologies for conservation, characterization, evaluation and use of PGRFA; and access to technology protected by intellectual property rights. 



This briefing note was provided by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletinenb@iisd.org. It was written and edited by Stas Burgiel <stas@iisd.org> and Tonya Barnes <tonya@iisd.org>. Website design/editing for this meeting by Chris Spence <chris@iisd.org>.The Editor is Pamela Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Managing Editor is Langston James "Kimo" Goree <kimo@iisd.org>. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at <info@iisd.ca> and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in this briefing note are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from this briefing note may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor.    

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