Highlights and images for 20 June 2019



Highlights for Thursday, 20 June 2019

From L-R: Hans Hoogeveen, Working Group Co-Chair; Álvaro Toledo, ITPGRFA Secretariat; Tobias Kiene, ITPGRFA Secretariat; Kent Nnadozie, ITPGRFA Secretary; and Olivier Rukundo, ITPGRFA Secretariat

On Thursday, 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) met in morning, afternoon, and evening sessions. Delegates reached tentative consensus on amending Annex I of the Treaty (list of crops in the MLS), pending consultation with capitals; and on a package of measures that simultaneously adopts the revised Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) and the amendment of Annex I. Negotiations on the specific provisions of the draft revised SMTA continued into the night in the Friends of the Co-Chairs' group. With regard to the amendment of Annex I, the Working Group addressed a Co-Chairs’ proposal for compromise text, which:

  • covers all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) under the management and control of parties, in the public domain and in ex situ conditions; and
  • allows parties to make declarations that they will not provide facilitated access to a limited number of species that are native to their territories.
  • Following negotiations on the possibility for national exemptions, tentative agreement was reached to state that:

  • a party may, exceptionally, declare a certain and limited number of species native to its territory that it will not include in the MLS;
  • such a declaration shall not affect the rights and obligations of any other party related to the species, nor shall it affect the inclusion of species in the MLS by international institutions that concluded Article 15 agreements with the Governing Body; and
  • a party may withdraw its declaration at any time but shall not make any additional declaration.
  • The resolution will further:

  • call on parties to exercise restraint in using exemptions and include an indicative list of reasons;
  • providing for a review of exemptions by the Governing Body in 2025; and
  • recommend that the criteria for disbursement under the Benefit-sharing Fund (BSF) will prioritize parties who have not excluded material under the amended Annex I, proportionate to the amount of exclusions.
  • With regard to the package of measures that simultaneously adopts the revised SMTA and the amendment of Annex I, the Working Group negotiated and eventually agreed to a Co-Chairs' proposal, as amended, noting that, in case the amendment of Annex I does not enter into force by 2025:

  • payments in case of commercialization of products made available without restriction would become voluntary again, until the entry into force of the amendment;
  • the registration to the subscription system will be suspended until entry into force;
  • subscribers may opt to revert to the single access system, and the amounts paid shall be credited, or may voluntarily continue their subscription for a total of ten years from its starting date; and
  • 50% of the income paid into the BSF will support projects in parties that have ratified the amendment, with the remaining released after the amendment enters into force.
  • Negotiations on the text of the draft revised SMTA continued into the night, addressing, among other issues, rights and obligations of the recipient of the MLS material.

    IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from OWG-EFMLS-9, which is now available in HTML and PDF.

    Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

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    Marliese von den Driesch and Imke Thormann, Europe
    Thomas Meier, Europe
    Manrique Lucio Altavista, Latin America and the Caribbean
    Delegates conferring during a break in negotiations
    Nestor Altoveros, Asia, with José Valls, Latin America and the Caribbean
    Sunil Archak, Asia, and Pierre du Plessis, Africa
    Members of the Latin America and the Caribbean negotiating group
    Nestor Altoveros, Asia
    Guy Kastler, Farmers Organization
    Members of the European negotiating group
    Edward Hammond, Civil Society, with Michael Halewood, CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR Consortium)
    Cheikh Alassane Fall and Pierre du Plessis, Africa
    Akio Yamamoto, Asia
    Axel Diederichsen, North America
    Axel Diederichsen, North America, and Pierre du Plessis, Africa
    John Wasswa Mulumba, Africa, and Nestor Altoveros, Asia
    Delegates conferring during a break in negotiations
    From L-R: Emily Carroll, South West Pacific; Michael Halewood, CGIAR Consortium; and Anke Van Den Hurk, Seed Industry
    José Valls, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Catherine Karr-Colque, North America


    Non-state coalitions