Home > OWG-EFMLS-6

6th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (OWG-EFMLS-6)

14-17 March 2017 | Headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy

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Piazza Navona in Rome

The Arco di Costantino in Rome

The Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing (MLS) was established by the fifth session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) (September 2013, Muscat, Oman), with the mandate to develop measures to increase user-based payments and contributions to the Treaty’s Benefit-Sharing Fund, as a priority, as well as additional measures to enhance the functioning of the MLS.

Following four meetings in 2014-2015, the Working Group made a series of recommendations to the sixth meeting of the Governing Body (October 2015, Rome, Italy), including elaboration of a subscription system for user-based payments to the MLS and revision of the standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA). The Governing Body decided to extend its mandate, and requested it, among other issues, to:

  • elaborate a full draft revised SMTA;
  • elaborate options for adapting coverage of the MLS, based on different scenarios and income projections; and
  • consider issues regarding genetic information associated with the material accessed from the MLS.

The fifth meeting of the Working Group was held from 12-14 July 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Working Group considered the second draft of a revised SMTA and focused on the development of the subscription system. It further considered a number of additional measures to enhance the functioning of the MLS, including with regard to the scope of the MLS, and the Funding Strategy.

At its sixth meeting, the Working Group will continue its deliberations on the basis of a third draft of the revised SMTA, prepared by the Co-Chairs Bert Visser (the Netherlands) and Javad Mozafari (Iran), on the basis of discussions, advice from various Friends of the Co-Chairs’ groups, opinions of the Standing Group of Legal Experts, and submissions received from parties and stakeholders. It is further expected to consider coverage of the MLS vis-à-vis the scope of the Treaty, and genetic information associated with material accessed from the MLS.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided digital coverage and a summary and analysis report from OWG-EFMLS-6, which is available in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis
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Specific funding for coverage of OWG-EFMLS-6 has been provided by the ITPGRFA Secretariat
SDC

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union, the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES).