FOR 29 AUGUST 2000
FOR 29 AUGUST 2000
Third Intersessional Meeting of the Contact Group of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food & Agriculture
Briefing note for Tuesday, 29 August 2000
The Third Inter-sessional Contact Group met in morning and afternoon sessions to continue consideration of Article 13 (Facilitated Access to Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture within the Multilateral System) and Article 14 (Benefit-Sharing in the Multilateral System). Article 13.2(g), on the continued availability of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) by recipients of those PGRFA, was agreed as drafted without discussion. In discussion on Article 13.2(h), on emergency disaster situations, delegates discussed: whether it should reference all countries, not just Parties; its linkage to international relief efforts; the scope of its application and the difficulties of undertaking the task within the Multilateral System.
In Article 13.4 (13.3 is currently a place-marker pending discussion on Article 13.2(h)), on providing facilitated access to International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs) under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) delegates discussed whether relevant references should be made throughout the text of the revised International Undertaking or in a separate article. Article 13.5, which addresses access to PGRFA for non-Parties, generated significant debate over the need for such a provision and what types of incentives and/or disincentives would be most appropriate should the provision be included. Delegates debated whether Article 13.6 should address the �means of collection of� or �access to� PGRFA found in in situ collections. Key elements of the discussion included: whether the provision explicitly addresses access issues or the physical collection of genetic resources; movement of the provision to the sub-paragraph on conditions for access; and whether to include language on providing access to government designated in situ areas or programmes.
In Article 14.1, regarding the notion that access is itself a major benefit, Parties debated the inclusion or deletion of language stating that access is subject benefit-sharing and the need to maintain symmetry with language in Article 13. Delegates discussed the chapeau of Article 14.2, addressing the types of benefits to be shared, debating, inter alia, inserting reference to commercial use. Delegates accepted Article 14.2(a), on exchange of information, without substantive debate. Delegates also discussed two provisions under Article 14.2(b) on access to and transfer of technology, specifically addressing: technologies for conservation, characterization, evaluation and use of PGRFA; and access to technology protected by intellectual property rights.
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