Agrobiodiversity, farmers´rights and agroforestry


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What is agrobiodiversity and how do international/national laws impact on it's implementation? Juliana Santili explains.

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Agrobiodiversity, farmers´rights and agroforestry

  1. 1. Agrobiodiversity, farmers´rights and agroforestry Juliana SantilliWorld Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), Nairobi- Kenya 1
  2. 2. Agrobiodiversity: diversity ofspecies, varieties, agroecosystems.. 2
  3. 3. Associated sociocultural diversity4th level of agrobiodiversity: socioeconomic andcultural systems that create, maintain and enrichagrobiodiversityRole of traditional/local farmers in the domesticationof plants, trees and landscapes, conservation andsustainable use of agrobiodiversity.The concept of agrobiodiversity reflects the dynamicrelationship between human societies, cultivatedplants and the environments where they interact. 3
  4. 4. Associated sociocultural diversity Domesticated and/or cultivated plants are: “cultural artifacts”(Sauer, 1986) “biological objects in their nature, but cultural objects in their essence” (Emperaire, 2008) Cultural and social processes are essential to promote and enrich agrobiodiversity
  5. 5.  Agrobiodiversity and food security, nutrition, health, social equity and justice, environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation MDGs: 1- eradicate extremely poverty and hunger, and 7- ensure environmental sustainability 5
  6. 6. Agrobiodiversity and LawSeed Laws: Industrial and highly-productive farming systems Scientist/breeder as the only “innovator” X farmers merely “users” of innovation Privilege “formal” seed systems X “informal”/local seed systems (linear approach)
  7. 7. Agrobiodiversity and LawSeed Laws:Impose strict rules on seeds’ production, distribution and sales, that local systems cannot comply withReduce legal space for traditional/local farming systems (local seeds), that maintain agrobiodiversityIn many cases, they make informal seed exchange, as well as the sales of farm-saved seeds, illegal
  8. 8. Agrobiodiversity and Law Seed Laws: Local seed systems maintain genetic diversity in farmers’ fields, as well as plant varieties adapted to specific local and environmental conditions For low income farmers, eliminating the costs of commercial seeds is also important Local systems are widely predominant in developing countries, where most farmers reproduce their own seeds (of both local and commercial varieties).
  9. 9. Agrobiodiversity and LawSeed Laws:Brazilian Seed Law:Exempts from registry “local, traditional and creole seeds”: developed, adapted or produced by small-scale (family) farmers, agrarian-reform settlers and Indigenous farmers(They cannot meet the homogeneity and stability criteria) But who decides which seeds are local/traditional/creole? They cannot be “substantially similar to commercial seeds”
  10. 10. Agrobiodiversity and LawIntellectual property rights over plant varieties: WTO TRIPS Agreement- Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property RightsArticle 27.3(b): Members shall provide for the protection of plant varieties either by patents or by an efficient sui generis system, or by any combination thereof.Sui generis system: UPOV: Plant Breeder´s Rights:- breeder´s exemption: IP-protected varieties can be used as source of variation for the development of a new variety; - farmers´rights to save, exchange and sell farm-saved seed (restricted by subsequent Acts of the UPOV Convention)
  11. 11. Agrobiodiversity and LawIntellectual property rights over plant varieties:1) Can create obstacles for the accessibility to knowledge and technologies by resource-poor farmers in developing countries Seeds for most crops are accessed mostly through informal networks. Some IPRs systems (patents) make reuse of seed illegal, and others (PBRs under UPOV Act 1991) do not allow the exchange and sale of farm-saved seed.
  12. 12. Agrobiodiversity and LawIntellectual property rights over plant varieties:2) May have a strong impact on the public agricultural research system: The idea that IP can solve the funding problems of public research may orient the focus of public agricultural research institutions towards more commercial crops and farmers IP policies must consider the need to produce public goods and address the technology needs of resource-poor famers (Genugten et al, 2011)
  13. 13. Agrobiodiversity and LawIntellectual property rights over plant varieties: New legal systems, alternative to conventional IPRs, to encourage collaborative production (open source biology, protected commons etc): balance between monopolies promoted by IPRs and the protection of common goods What defines a good as a common is not the intrinsic possibility (resulting from ist own nature) of being shared, but the social and legal regime to which it is subjected Some goods are intrinsically non competitive (their use by one person does not prevent another person from using them) Sharing, rather than exclusion
  14. 14. Agrobiodiversity, agroforestry amdLawAgroforestry and the UN environmental conventions:Convention on Biological DiversityConvention on Climate ChangeConvention to Combat Desertification +FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and AgricultureUNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage
  15. 15. Agrobiodiversity and Law Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol: National sovereignty over genetic resources; access and benefit-sharing on a bilateral basis, through contracts between “users” and “providers”
  16. 16. Agrobiodiversity and Law International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: multilateral ABS system The only “global commons” regime: - covers only Annex I crops, for FA, conserved ex situ and in the public domain; - conflicts in the interpretation of art.12.3.d, which forbids claims of IPRs over GR “in the form received from the multilateral system”
  17. 17. Agrobiodiversity and LawInternational Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Foodand Agriculture: conservation and sustainable use of PGR.Promote and support farmers’ and local communities efforts to manage and conserve on-farm their PGR;Promote in situ conservation of wild crop relatives, including in protected areas, by supporting, inter alia, the efforts of indigenous and local communities;Broaden the genetic base of crops and increase the range of genetic diversity available to farmers; 17
  18. 18. Agrobiodiversity and LawInternational Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Foodand Agriculture: conservation and sustainable use of PGR.Promote the development and maintenance of diverse farming systems that enhance the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity and other natural resources;Strengthen research which enhances and conserves biological diversity by maximizing intra and inter-specific variation, for the benefit of farmers, especially those who generate and use their own varieties and apply ecological principles;
  19. 19. Agrobiodiversity and LawInternational Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: First international legally-binding instrument: Recognizes farmers’ rights; Recognizes the important role played by farmers in conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA; All parties are obliged to adopt policies aimed at promoting in situ/on farm conservation of PGRFA;
  20. 20. Farmers’ rights to: Protection of traditional Save, use, exchange and sell knowledge farm-saved seeds (subject to national laws) Participate in benefit- sharing arising from the utilization of plant genetic X resources Participate in decision- Seed Laws and IPRs over making on matters related to plant varieties conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources 20
  21. 21.  Farmers’rights must be implemented by each country, at the local level, and according to national laws. 21
  22. 22. Farmers’ rights: how to implement Two possible approaches: (Andersen, 2009) 1) “Ownership approach”: based on access and benefit- sharing laws, enacted according to CBD principles: “prior informed consent” + “fair and equitable benefit-sharing” (for genetic resources and traditional knowledge) 22
  23. 23. Farmers’ rights: how to implement 2) “Stewardship” approach: Ensure access to and the exchange of genetic material and traditional knowledge among farmers, so that they can continue to manage and benefit from the resources of agrobiodiversity, according to their social networks and local rules: Recognition of legal pluralism/diversity (expression of cultural diversity), and the legitimacy of local rules, customs and traditions regarding the use and exchange of genetic resources and associated knowledge (X legal monism) Recognition of collective rights 23
  24. 24. Farmers’ rights: how to implement (“stewardship” approach) Collective benefit-sharing, such as: Public policies aimed at valuing and strenghtening local/traditional farming systems; Payment for environmental services (including those provided by agroforestry systems, such as biodiversity conservation, improved soil fertility, carbon sequestration and on-farm adaptation, watershed protection etc); Creation of community/local seed banks and fairs; 24
  25. 25. Farmers’ rights: how to implement(“stewardship” approach) Participatory plant breeding programs, developed through partnerships between farmers and scientists; Access of local/agrobiodiversity products (including forest products) to the market under special conditions and incentives; Food security programs that consider the diversity of healthy foods that forests provide, and their cultural value and importance for local food systems; Geographical Indications for agricultural systems as a whole (not for isolated products): promoting a “basket of territorial products and services” (Pequeur, 2006);
  26. 26. Farmers’ rights: how to implement(“stewardship” approach) Create “agrobiodiversity reserves”, as specially protected areas, aimed at protecting wild relatives of cultivated plants and the diversity of domesticated plants on farm, with the involvement of local farmers; Example: “Parque de la Papa” (Cuzco, Peru): Quechua- Aymara, with the support of ANDES: around 750 native potato varieties are cultivated in the park territory.
  27. 27. Farmers’ rights: how to implement(“stewardship” approach) Globally Important Ingenious Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHs), FAO, UNESCO and other international institutions. (Ex: rice terraces in Philipines, oasis of the Magreb, in North Africa, rice/fish integration system in China etc) Conservation and adaptive management of GIAHs: “Remarkable land use systems and landscapes which are rich in globally significant biological diversity evolving from the co-adaptation of a community with its environment and its needs and aspirations for sustainable development”
  28. 28. Farmers’ rights: how to implement(“stewardship” approach) The Satoyama Initiative: Ministry of Environment of Japan, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, in partnership with the World Agroforestry Center The Satoyama Initiative aims to conserve sustainable human- influenced natural environments (Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes; SEPL) through broader global recognition of their value.
  29. 29. Brazil: public policies in favor ofagrobiodiversity and agroforestryMost agroforestry sistems in Brazil are managed by small-scale (family) farmers (main producers of food)Even though family farmers occupy only 24% of farmland, they produce 87% of manioc/cassava, 70% of beans, 46% of maize, 38% of coffee, 34% of rice, 58% of milk, 59% of pork, 50% of poultry that is consumed by Brazilians. 84.4% of all rural properties in Brazil
  30. 30. Brazil: public policies in favor ofagrobiodiversity and agroforestryFood Acquisition Program (Law 10.696/2003):Federal government buys local agrifood products directly from family farmers (which include those dedicated to agrisilviculture) and distributes them among community kitchens, popular restaurants, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, food banks etc (based in the same localities)2011: R$ 793 million 2011: 160,000 farmers2012: R$ 1,2 billion 2012: 270,000 farmersAnnual limit (by farmer): R$ 4,500Monthly mnimal wage in Brazil: R$ 622
  31. 31. Brazil: public policies in favor ofagrobiodiversity and agroforestryNational School Food Program (Law 11.947/2009):All public schools must buy at least 30% of all foods served in schools directly from family farmers.Guidelines: Local/regional and organic food products must be prioritized: native fruits (ex: açaí, Euterpe oleracea), nuts (Bertholletia excelsia), roots (Manihot esculenta), vegetables and fish species that are native to the region Annual limit (by farmer): R$ 9,000 (2011) and R$ 20,000 (2012)(The program does not establish a minimum sales quantity for each product, which favors AF systems, which tend to produce a large diversity of products throughout the year) (Miccolis et al, 2010)
  32. 32. Brazil: public policies in favor ofagrobiodiversity and agroforestry“Green Salary” (Bolsa Verde), Environmental Conservation Program (Decree 7.572/2011) or “Forest guardians”Started in October 2011, in the Brazilian AmazonR$ 300 every 3 months, for a period of 2 years, as long as the beneficiary commits himself to develop specific conservation activities (described on a signed agreement)For families in extreme poverty (R$ 70 monthly income), who live in protected areas – National Forests, Extractive and Sustainable Development Reserves (Human-Inhabited Protected areas, occupied mainly by rubber-tappers, nut- gathers, etc), territories occupied by Indigenous people, Quilombolas, etc
  33. 33. However... Agrobusiness ( soybean) isstill the main beneficiaryThe National Family Farming .... public credits and subsidiesProgram dedicated to agrobusiness in the same periodReceived R$ 16 billion, in (R$ 100 billion)total, in 2010/2011,Which corresponds to less than20% of... (Miccolis et al, 2011)
  34. 34. Intangible cultural heritage andagrobiodiversity UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage Brazil: First registry of a traditional agricultural system as “intangible cultural heritage” (ACIMRN (Indigenous Communities of Medio Rio Negro, Brazilian Amazon) Agrobiodiversity: Central element: manioc/ cassava (73 varieties) 243 plant species, including fruit trees and medicinal plants (Emperaire et al)
  35. 35. “Cultural landscapes”UNESCO Convention on Cultural and Natural Heritage:“Cultural landscapes” (category created in 1992) “Cultural landscapes often reflect specific techniques ofsustainable land use, considering the characteristics andlimits of the natural environment they are established in, and aspecific spiritual relation to nature”
  36. 36. “Cultural landscapes”Organically evolved landscape: “A continuing landscape is one which retains an active social role in contemporary society closely associated with the traditional way of life, and in which the evolutionary process is still in progress”
  37. 37. “Cultural landscapes” Examples: Implementation at the local 1) Archaeological level (ex: Brazil, Vale doLandscape of the First Coffee Itajai, in the State of SantaPlantations in southeast Cuba; Catarina) 2) Puszta PastoralLandscape of HortobagyNational Park, in Hungary; 3) Rice Terraces of thePhilippines Cordilleras; 4) Agricultural Landscapeof Southern Öland (Sweden)
  38. 38. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!