8th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing (OWG-EFMLS-8) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)
10-12 October 2018 | UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters, Rome, Italy
L-R: Javad Mozafari, Working Group Co-Chair, consulting with Álvaro Toledo, ITPGRFA Secretariat, and Kent Nnadozie, ITPGRFA Secretary
The eighth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the Multilateral System (MLS) of access and benefit-sharing (ABS) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) opened today at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), in Rome, Italy. The Working Group is composed of up to 27 regional representatives: up to five from Europe; up to five from Asia; up to five from Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC); up to three from the Near East; up to two from North America; and up to two from the Southwest Pacific. Up to two representatives from each of the following groups may participate as observers: civil society organizations; the seed industry; farmers’ organizations; and the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers.
The Working Group heard opening statements, addressed organizational matters, and began text-based negotiations on a draft revised Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA).
Co-Chair Javad Mozafari opened the meeting, highlighting that the Treaty is crucial for food security and sustainable agriculture globally, and calling for expedited efforts to enhance its efficiency. He recalled that the Working Group elected Amb. Hans Hoogeveen (the Netherlands) by electronic means as the new Co-Chair of the Working Group, to replace former Co-Chair Bert Visser, who retired during GB 7. Co-Chair Hans Hoogeveen said that informal consultations highlighted elements of compromise on several controversial areas. ITPGRFA Secretary Kent Nnadozie expressed hope that the spirit of understanding and cooperation that prevailed during informal consultations will continue. Several participants expressed optimism about the upcoming negotiations and highlighted progress achieved so far.
The Working Group then began text-based negotiations on the draft revised SMTA, focusing on the terms and conditions of the subscription system. Among other issues, participants addressed:
• the effect, coverage, and registration of subscription;
• monetary benefit-sharing, including the basis for payments, and who is obliged to pay;
• complexities arising from use of digital sequence information (DSI);
• exemptions from payments; and
• differentiated rates.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from OWG-EFMLS-8.
L-R: Tobias Kiene, ITPGRFA Secretariat; Álvaro Toledo, ITPGRFA Secretariat; Hans Hoogeveen, Working Group Co-Chair; Javad Mozafari, Working Group Co-Chair; Kent Nnadozie, ITPGRFA Secretary; and Olivier Rukundo, ITPGRFA Secretariat
Working Group drafting session
Alwin Kopse, Europe
Edward Hammond, Civil Society
Axel Diederichsen, North America
Anke Van Den Hurk, Seed Industry
Guy Kastler, Farmers Organization
Manrique Lucio Altavista, Latin America and the Caribbean
Hans Hoogeveen and Javad Mozafari, Working Group Co-Chairs
OWG-EFMLS-8, 14-17 March 2017, FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy
BIODIVERSITY-L - A Mailing List for News on Biodiversity and Wildlife Policy
SDG - A Mailing List for News on Sustainable Development Policy
SDG Update Newsletter - A compilation of news, commentary and upcoming events published on the SDG Knowledge Hub
SDG Knowledge Hub - An Online Resource Center for News and Commentary Regarding the Implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Linkages Update - International Environment and Sustainable Development News