The FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture : Towards Food Security, Conservation, Equity
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This thesis puts forward the claim that the FAO Treaty ("ITPGRFA") adopted in 2001 is the only existing international agreement with the potential to promote food security, conservation of biodiversity and equity, and not just one or two of them. Ideally, the ITPGRFA should apply to all crops. However, for some of them, national interests in capturing the benefits from germplasm and commodity exports come into conflict with the global interest. This thesis attempts to show that the pursuit of national interests is counterproductive when it comes to maintaining genetic resources, food-security and rent-seeking, and that optimally, the coverage of the F AO Treaty should be widened. This thesis first describes the different types of plants, as well as the traditional and new breeding methods since the Green Revolution, and the waves of concentration in agribusiness (Chapter 2). Chapter 3 presents economic approaches to hunger and famine and explains the vital need in this context for plant genetic diversity conservation. Chapter 4 explains how bargaining powers and the notion of equity were at play in the international negotiations leading to the adoption of the CBD and within the WTO. The second part of this thesis assesses whether the FAO Multilateral System, analysed in Chapter 5, offers a better solution to the three issues identified than bilateral national arrangements. Chapter 6 describes the legal framework for seed production, biodiversity conservation and intellectual property protection in China and Ethiopia. Chapter 7 then compares the bilateral schemes adopted respectively by China and Ethiopia concerning soybean and coffee, with the International Network for the Genetic Evaluation of Rice. It also reviews private and multilateral schemes for access to genetic information on rice and coffee. The thesis concludes that countries should agree on an expansion of the list of plants covered by the multilateral system.
AuthorsLightbourne, Muriel S
- Theses