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

Highlights for Tuesday, 14 March 2017

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View of the room during the openning session

View of the room during the opening session

On Tuesday, 14 March, Working Group Co-Chairs Bert Visser (the Netherlands) and Javad Mozafari (Iran) opened the meeting, noting: the Working Group’s mandate to come to an agreement on a final package of a revised draft Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) text and additional recommendations to be submitted to the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA); and intersessional work done by several Friends of the Co-Chairs groups and the Standing Group of Legal Experts. Kent Nnadozie, ITPGRFA Secretary Ad-Interim, stressed the spirit of collaboration that has prevailed in the deliberations so far.

During morning and afternoon sessions, the Working Group discussed coverage of the Multilateral System (MLS) vis-à-vis the scope of the Treaty; and issues arising from the revised SMTA, with a focus on the subscription system. North America highlighted that the US has become the latest member of the Treaty.

On coverage of the MLS, discussion focused on the approach and necessary conditions to expand coverage; and the legal mechanism to be used, namely an amendment or a protocol to the Treaty. Discussion on the approach to expand coverage addressed, among other issues, whether to expand it to “all” plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), and the definition of PGRFA, including in relation to crop wild relatives. On the legal mechanism, there was general agreement that any expansion should be done in the easiest and most effective way, with many identifying the need for better understanding the arguments for and against both options.

The Working Group then initiated deliberations on the revised SMTA. Delegates heard reports from Friends of the Co-Chairs groups on access mechanisms and payment rates, and the termination clause; and discussed questions with the Standing Group of Legal Experts, including on the compatibility of the subscription system and advance payments with the Treaty text.

An informal evening session held discussions on expanding MLS coverage.

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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From L-R: Tobias Kiene, ITPGRFA Secretariat; Javad Mozafari, Working Group Co-Chair; Bert Visser, Working Group Co-Chair; Kent Nnadozie, ITPGRFA Secretary Ad-Interim; Álvaro Toledo, ITPGRFA Secretariat

Catherine Karr-Colque and Felicitas Katepa-Mupondwa, North America Region

Alwin Kopse, European Region, with Sélim Louafi, CIRAD (Agricultural Research for Development)

Bert Visser, Working Group Co-Chair

Javad Mozafari, Working Group Co-Chair

Kent Nnadozie, ITPGRFA Secretary Ad-Interim

César Tapia Bastidas, Latin America and the Caribbean Region

Pierre du Plessis, Africa Region

Tobias Kiene, ITPGRFA Secretariat

Catherine Karr-Colque, North America Region

Modesto Fernández, Cuba, on behalf of the Friends of the Co-Chairs Group on the scope of the Multilateral System

Kuldeep Singh, Asia Region

Gerald Moore, Facilitator of the Standing Group of Legal Experts

Patricia Larbouret, European Region

Edward Hammond, Third World Network, with Dan Leskien, Secretariat of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Anke van den Hurk, Seed Industry

Thomas Meier, European Region

Cheikh Alassane Fall, Africa Region

Michael Halewood, CGIAR Consortium

Carlos Correa, speaking on behalf of the Standing Group of Legal Experts

Guy Kastler, Farmers Organizations

Kim van Seeters, the Netherlands

Participants networking during the lunch break

Delegates from the Latin America and the Caribbean Region

Around the Venue

View from the terrace of the FAO Headquarters

The "Campana della Pace" in front of the Preamble to the FAO Constitution

Fragment of the statue of Hercules

Daily Web CoverageAbout | 14 Mar | 15 Mar | 16 Mar | 17 Mar | Summary
Specific funding for coverage of OWG-EFMLS-6 has been provided by the ITPGRFA Secretariat

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).