IISD -ENB : Ninth Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the Multilateral System of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: 17-21 June 2019
In what was described as a largely successful meeting, the ninth 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) reached tentative compromise to amend Annex I of the Treaty (list of crops in the MLS), to include all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture under the management and control of parties and in the public domain, in ex situ conditions, while allowing for reasoned national exemptions regarding a limited number of native species.
The Working Group also agreed on a package of measures, also known as the growth plan, which simultaneously adopts the revised Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) and the amendment of Annex I. Negotiations continued on the draft revised SMTA. Consensus was reached on several provisions, with genetic sequence data (also addressed as digital sequence information) and rates for benefit-sharing payments remaining as the main outstanding issues. As a result, the meeting was suspended, to allow for additional time to finalize negotiations, following consultations at the national and regional level. The Working Group will reconvene for three days before the eighth session of the Treaty’s Governing Body (GB 8), which will be held from 11-16 November 2019 in Rome, Italy, and is expected to adopt the amended Annex I of the Treaty and the revised SMTA.
The Working Group is composed of up to 30 representatives: up to five from Europe; up to five from Asia; up to five from Latin America and the Caribbean; 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 (CGIAR Consortium).
The Working Group was first established by the fifth session of the Governing Body (GB) (September 2013, Muscat, Oman). It has since focused on the revision of the SMTA and elaboration of a subscription system for user-based payments to the MLS, and, more recently, on options for possible adaptation of MLS coverage. Find out more… and the Summary : Here