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FNI PUBLICATION SUMMARIES

Biodiversity and Genetic Resources



Winge, Tone
'Seed Legislation in Europe and Crop Genetic Diversity'
Sustainable Agriculture Reviews, Vol 15, 2015, pp. 1-64.
> Access article

Legislation on the marketing of seed and plant propagating material, often referred to as ‘seed legislation’, specifies the requirements that seed and other propagating material must fulfil to be marketed legally, and how this marketing may be conducted. Such legislation can have a great impact on the composition of the seed market, as well as on cultivation and breeding, not least as it has the potential to restrict access to and maintenance of crop genetic diversity. This article presents and discusses seed legislation in the European Union (EU) and its relationship to crop genetic diversity. In the EU seed legislation is based on the principles of variety registration and certification of seed lots. Seed may be marketed only if it belongs to a variety that has been registered and the seed lot has been certified. A variety must satisfy distinctness, uniformity and stability requirements. For heterogeneous varieties this can be problematic, which in turn has potential consequences for the maintenance and further development of crop genetic diversity.



Rosendal, G. Kristin
'Convention on Biological Diversity'
In J.-F. Morin and A. Orsini (eds), Essential Concepts of Global Environmental Governance. London, Routledge, 2015, pp. 13-15.
> More information about the book

This book is an up-to-date compilation of the main pieces of the global environmental governance puzzle. The book is comprised of 101 entries, each defining a central concept in global environmental governance, presenting its historical evolution, introducing related debates and including key bibliographical references and further reading. The chapter provides these entries for the issue of biodiversity.



Jørem, Ane and Morten Walløe Tvedt
'Bioprospecting in the High Seas: Existing Rights and Obligations in View of a New Legal Regime for Marine Areas beyond National Jurisdiction'
International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, Vol 29, No 2, 2014, pp. 321-343.
> Access article

This article examines the law governing bioprospecting in the high seas and subsequent use of biological material. Seen in relation to the on-going debate on a new legal regime for marine areas beyond national jurisdiction, the authors explore the degree to which existing rights and obligations under the law of the sea and patent law could coincide with one of the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, namely that of promoting benefit sharing. The activity of bioprospecting is examined in light of the different freedoms of the high seas, making the point that different interpretations give different indications of existing provisions on benefit sharing. In particular, the regime for marine scientific research under the law of the sea exemplifies different ways for sharing benefits, all of which run up against implementation challenges when seen in relation to rights awarded by patents to inventions resulting from bioprospecting.



Pisupati, Balakrishna
Options and Approaches for Realizing Target 16 of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
FNI Report 3/2014. Lysaker, FNI, 2014, 22 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

The tenth meeting of Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) adopted the Strategic Plan for 2011-2020 including a set of global biodiversity targets called the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. COP 10 also decided that by 2015, Parties to the CBD develop, review, update and revise the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) that include relevant national and/or regional targets. Target 16 of the Aichi Target deals with the issue of entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and subsequent national implementation. Review of the post 2010 NBSAPs undertaken by FNI (Balakrishna Pisupati and Christian Prip) indicate that weak focus on Target 16 in the NBSAPs. This Report provides options for countries to strength the focus on Target 16 related to ABS and also further implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS at national level.



Dhillion, Shivcharn
Technology Transfer in India: CBD, Institutions, Actors, Typologies and Perceptions
FNI Report 2/2014. Lysaker, FNI, 2014, 50 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

The Convention on Biologcal Diversity (CBD) recognises that both access to and transfer of technologies are essential for the attainment of its objectives. This report explores a number of issues related to technology transfer with a particular focus on India asking questions on: typologies, actors, and institutions, perceptions and mechanisms. The report explores these issues for herbal medicine development and the use of medicinal plants particularly those based on the ancient written Ayurvedic medicinal system.



Rosendal, G. Kristin and Peter Johan Schei
'How May REDD+ Affect the Practical, Legal and Institutional Framework for Payment for Ecosystem Services' in Costa Rica?'
Ecosystem Services, Vol 9, 2014, pp. 75-82.
> Access article

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries may affect domestic policies in related policy fields. Costa Rica has a well-established system of payment for ecosystem services (PES) aimed at protecting forests and biodiversity. Drawing on interviews and a review of the literature, this article examines the possible impacts of domestic and external factors (REDD+ in particular) on the PES scheme in Costa Rica. The analysis builds on theories of domestic environmental policy-making, and of actor participation and interaction at international and domestic levels. In focus are how the legal and institutional system for PES has evolved and how REDD+ might affect this PES framework through diffusion of international ideas and financial leverage of external actors. Domestic development interests and emerging REDD+ principles and methodologies present a combined challenge to the comprehensive view of ecosystem services inherent in PES. Nonetheless, most civil society actors in Costa Rica are strong environmental proponents and seem relatively robust. The legal and institutional framework for PES has proven relatively successful; moreover, compared to most other biodiversity-rich countries, Costa Rica relies more heavily on self-generated funding for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.



Prip, Christian, G. Kristin Rosendal, Steinar Andresen and Morten Walløe Tvedt
The Australian ABS Framework: A Model Case for Bioprospecting?
FNI Report 1/2014. Lysaker, FNI, 2014, 42 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

Australian ABS legislation is advanced and pioneering in giving national effect to the third objective of the CBD with mandatory permits for all biodiscovery and mandatory benefit sharing agreements for biodiscovery with a commercial intent. Nevertheless, under Commonwealth legislation there is still only one biodiscovery case involving commercial benefit sharing. This is spite of persistent interest in biodiscovery.

One lesson is the need for improving the dynamic element in ABS contracts, building in a clearer trigger point for when the obligations to share are actualized and to reverse the burden of tracking and follow-up to the user rather than leaving it to the provider. If a rich country like Australia lacks sufficient resources to follow the future development based on its material, this speaks volumes for poor provider countries. Linking the ABS and IPR legislation through disclosure of the source of biological resources in patent applications can be an appropriate legal measure to track compliance. Also, the statutory declaration in Commonwealth legislation is a legal instrument that could bind the user to Australian criminal law, although this holds a more limited prospect for following and tracking genetic material if it is transferred to third parties. This indicates that using the general legal means for making ABS work is a fruitful way forward.

Australia played an important role in the negotiations leading to the Nagoya Protocol (NP), and its legislation inspired some of the Protocol’s provisions. On that basis and being a megadiversity country with extensive ABS experience and wide support by the biodiscovery stakeholders to the NP, it would seem obvious and in the interest of the country to become a party to the NP. The outside world would also benefit from Australia being a party because Australia has learned many ABS lessons to be shared with other parties of which many will not have come nearly as far in their ABS experience. Among others, there are lessons about drawing up an effective regulatory system, but also about legal challenges for federal nations with mixed jurisdictions between the federal and state level. These lessons concern partnerships between public academic institutions and the private sector with great benefits for both parties, as well as difficulties in distinguishing scientific from commercial biodiscovery and defining roles



Rosendal, G. Kristin
'Global Biodiversity Governance: Genetic Resources, Species, and Ecosystems'
In R.S. Axelrod and S.D. VanDeveer (eds), The Global Environment. Institutions, Law, and Policy. Los Angeles, Sage, 2014, pp. 283-304.
> More information about the book.

This chapter looks into what biodiversity is, why it matters, and how global political institutions are seeking to address and remedy the loss of biodiversity. The bulk of the chapter describes the contents, negotiations, and ongoing politics and conflicts relating to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Throughout, the chapter sheds light on actor interests and major differences that characterize the international biodiversity negotiations. Interactions between the CBD and related international regimes are also pointed out. The chapter addresses some of the problematic aspects of developing international instruments and financial mechanisms to deal with environmental crosscutting issues pertaining to energy, climate change, and forest conservation. These conflicts cut across the North-South axis in the sense that development and energy issues have strong proponents all over the world, while the conservation and environment movement is comparatively weak globally. Finally, the chapter examines the Cartagena Protocol, which raises issues of risk and precaution in relation to international trade involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs).



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
'Patent Protection for Inventions Related to Farmed Fish in Norway and the EPO'
In Keith Culver and Kieran O'Doherty (eds), Fishing and Farming Iconic Species - Cod and Salmon and Social Issues in Genomic Science. Ottawa, Captus Press, 2013, pp. 160-182.
> More information about the book

A growing number of patent applications are relevant for aquaculture and the fish breeding industry. Patent law is general in form and is seldom adapted to single areas of innovation. It was initially created for the purpose of granting exclusive rights to technical inventions, on the understanding that higher animals, food production and pharmaceuticals were too important for mankind to be included under exclusive private rights. Now that patent law is increasingly invoked in the aquaculture sector, the question arises: how will the law apply to this particular field of innovation? As patent law has the potential to alter the legal conditions for competition and investments in aquaculture, it deserves more attention from policy-makers, fish breeders and fish farmers. This article presents the EPO and Norwegian practice, as a basis for comparing the situation in the USA and Canada with that in Europe. It looks at patentability for product patents and process patents; and the scope of the rights conferred from each of these types of patents as applied to the aquaculture sector. It reviews the most recent patent decision of the Norwegian Supreme Court which concerns the grant of a patent to a fish feed - Histidin. Finally, it presents practice from the Norwegian Ethical Advisory Committee for patent applications relevant to aquaculture.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
'Disentangling Rights to Genetic Resources Illustrated by Aquaculture and Forest Sector'
Law Environment and Development Journal, Vol 9, No 3, 2013, pp. 3-20.
> Download article

This article explores ways of understanding rights to genetic resources in two sectors that utilise these resources. The overall aim of this article is to explore property to enable a better understanding of the possibilities of establishing common pools for innovation and effective benefit-sharing arrangements that promote conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. This is done by examining a theoretical approach to property right to genetic resources. I explore three cases to illustrate the various issues at stake. One is a patent case, one an ownership case from the aquaculture sector in Norway, and the third is from the forest sector. All three cases are explored to establish how the rights to genetic resources are working in concrete cases or sectors and to better understand how these systems can be fine-tuned in the future.



Oberthür, Sebastian and G. Kristin Rosendal (eds)
Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Access and Benefit Sharing after the Nagoya Protocol
London/New York, Routledge, 2014, 268 p.
> For orders and more information, see Routledge's website

This book analyses the status and prospects of global governance of access to and benefit sharing (ABS) from genetic resources after the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on ABS to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which itself had established new ABS principles for utilisation of genetic resources. It investigates the role of a variety of actors and actor constellations in the emergence of the Nagoya Protocol and discusses trends towards stability or change. Moreover, the book provides an assessment of core features of the design of global ABS governance.



Oberthür, Sebastian and G. Kristin Rosendal
'Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Background and Analytical Framework'
In Oberthür, S. and G.K. Rosendal (eds), Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Access and Benefit Sharing after the Nagoya Protocol. London/New York, Routledge, 2014, pp. 1-17.
> More information about the book.

In this first chapter, we set the scene for our endeavor in three main steps. First, we briefly present the background and cornerstones of international ABS governance, from the CBD to the 2010 Nagoya Protocol. This discussion provides a baseline for the elaboration of key elements of ABS governance after the Nagoya Protocol in later chapters. Second, we introduce the conceptual framework of the book, by elaborating on the analytical concepts of ‘architecture’ and ‘agency’ in relation to ABS as an issue of ‘allocation and access’. As mentioned, this discussion attempts to embed the volume in the broader debates of global environmental governance. Third, the chapter provides a brief overview of the structure of the volume and the content of the individual contributions. Overall, the book analyses the role of a variety of actors in the emergence of the Nagoya Protocol and provides an up-to-date assessment of core features of the architecture of global ABS governance after the Nagoya Protocol.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe and Peter Johan Schei
'The Term 'Genetic Resources': Flexible and Dynamic while Providing Legal Certainty?'
In Oberthür, S. and G.K. Rosendal (eds), Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Access and Benefit Sharing after the Nagoya Protocol. London/New York, Routledge, 2014, pp. 18-32.
> More information about the book.

The term genetic resources is a core one to the implementation of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). As biotechnology and knowledge on genetics change rapidly, there is a need for some flexibility and dynamic in the interpretation of the definition of the term. At the same time, for a legal system to provide for legal certainty, the main definition needs to have some level of stability in a manner which can be interpreted and enforced by a court. This paper shows how the definition of ‘genetic resources’ captures different dimensions and was crafted in a manner robust enough to cope with unforeseen challenges.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
'Beyond Nagoya: Towards a Legally Functional System of Access and Benefit-sharing'
In Oberthür, S. and G.K. Rosendal (eds), Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Access and Benefit Sharing after the Nagoya Protocol. London/New York, Routledge, 2014, pp. 158-177.
> More information about the book.

The core question is how to make the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) mechanisms of the CBD legally functional in practice for users and providers of genetic resources. There is a need for legal systems in all countries to correspond so that a claim under one country’s system can be pursued within the jurisdiction of another. At its core, the ABS challenge is about creating incentives for private (or public) entities (which create benefits by utilising genetic resources), to share these benefits in a fair and equitable manner. This study explores options for creating such incentives under the Nagoya Protocol. It consists of three main parts: 1) a closer look at the user obligations as set out in the Nagoya Protocol; 2) identifying the access regulations and norms set out in the Protocol; and 3) exploring how these two clusters of rules can be harmonized so as to form a legally functional ABS system.



Rosendal, G. Kristin, Ingrid Olesen and Morten Walløe Tvedt
'Balancing ABS and IPR Governance in the Aquaculture Sector'
In Oberthür, S. and G.K. Rosendal (eds), Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Access and Benefit Sharing after the Nagoya Protocol. London/New York, Routledge, 2014, pp. 196-212.
> More information about the book.

International governance of access to and benefit sharing (ABS) based on utilization of genetic resources under the Nagoya Protocol and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) enters a densely populated institutional environment. The international legal frameworks for governance of aquatic genetic resources and the interests in and needs for a sector-based approach to international transactions with genetic resources in aquaculture is growing. Aquaculture – the breeding and farming of aquatic species of animals – is currently the world’s fastest growing food industry and its role in response to the global food crisis is evident. The overall international gene flows within the aquaculture sector go a long way in explaining why the aquaculture sector has been much less subject to ABS-IPR conflicts between developed and developing countries compared to the plant and pharmaceutical sectors. As the gene flow is found largely between South-South or North-South, the need for either a Nagoya Protocol ABS regime or a multilateral system (MLS) similar to the FAO ITPGRFA at first glance seemed less prominent in aquaculture. The more dominant gene flows from South to South do, however, raise new and interesting questions for ABS governance in aquaculture.



Oberthür, Sebastian and G. Kristin Rosendal
'Conclusions: An Assessment of Global Governance of Genetic Resources after the Nagoya Protocol'
In Oberthür, S. and G.K. Rosendal (eds), Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Access and Benefit Sharing after the Nagoya Protocol. London/New York, Routledge, 2014, pp. 231-250.
> More information about the book.

Overall, the NP has brought incremental changes to global ABS governance trying to re-balance somewhat the provider-user equation with uncertain prospect of success. Much will depend on implementation by parties, especially user countries, and the further development of the broader governance system at the international level. Both the NP and other central institutions engaged in global ABS governance constitute dynamic sectoral legal systems that are typical of global environmental governance and are set to develop further. Next to national implementation of the NP, future international discussions under the Protocol (including on a Global Multilateral Benefit-sharing Mechanism, compliance, and other matters) and in relevant other institutions (FAO, UNCLOS, WTO, WIPO and others) may thus be of crucial importance for the effectiveness of global ABS governance.



Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds)
Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices
Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, 232 p.
> For more informations and orders, see Routledge's website.
> Read book review in Trade Insight (p. 35)

Farmers' Rights are essential for maintaining crop genetic diversity, which is the basis of all food and agricultural production in the world. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture recognizes Farmers' Rights and provides for relevant measures. However, implementation is slow, and in many countries there is resistance. This book shows the necessity of realizing Farmers' Rights for poverty alleviation and food security, the practical possibilities of doing so, and the potential gains for development and society at large. It provides decision-makers and practitioners with a conceptual framework for understanding Farmers’ Rights and success stories showing how each of the elements of Farmers' Rights can be realized in practice. The success stories have brought substantial achievements as regards one or more of the four elements of Farmers' Rights: the rights of farmers to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed; the protection of traditional knowledge; benefit- sharing; and participation in decision-making. Challenges encountered on the way are also conveyed and offer important lessons. The stories represent different regions and localities, including Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as various categories of stakeholders and types of initiatives and policies.



Andersen, Regine
'Crop Genetic Diversity and Farmers’ Rights'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 3-11.
> More information about the book.

This chapter offers a conceptual framework for understanding Farmers’Rights and what they can mean in practice. It outlines why Farmers' Rights are important, explains how they are recognized in the Plant Treaty, presents the background for the concept of Farmers' Rights and the four elements of Farmers' Rights it can be said to contain based on Article 9 in the Plant Treaty. These elements are Farmers' Rights related to farm-saved seed, to the protection of traditional knowledge, to equitable benefit sharing and to participate in decision-making.



Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge
'What Constitutes a Success Story in the Context of Farmers’ Rights?'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 12-20.
> More information about the book.

This book chapter explains how the concept of succes stories can be understood in the context of Farmers' Rights to crop genetic resources. Success stories are defined as policies,measures, projects or activities that have resulted in substantial achievements with regard to one or more of the four elements of Farmers’ Rights as set out in the PlantTreaty. The chapter also outlines what such successes might look like for these elements: Farmers' Rights to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed; traditional knowledge related to crop genetic diversity; equitable benefit sharing and participation in decision-making.



Andersen, Regine
'Norway’s Path to Ensuring Farmers’ Rights in the European Context'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 23-39.
> More information about the book.

This chapter looks at a proposal that was aimed at strengthening the regulations on plant variety protection in Norway, but which was rejected by the Norwegian government on the grounds of Farmers’ Rights, as well as how this came about and what the results were. It also looks at Norway’s current regulations on plant variety registration and seed certication. It is argued that this legislation, alhtough it still can be seen as an impediment to the realisation of Farmers' Rights, represents a considerable improvement from the situation only a few years ago.



Winge, Tone and Helen Groome
'Conservation of Local Varieties in the Basque Country in Spite of Legal Restrictions'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 40-53.
> More information about the book.

This chapter tells the story of the Basque Seed Network’s work to maintain local varieties through documentation and use in the Basque Country of Northern Spain despite detrimental laws and a lack of legal space for the traditional practice of seed-sharing. The chapter presents and analyses an approach to the realisation of Farmers’ Rights that is based on documentation and promotion of local crop genetic resources. The views of various stakeholders are presented, and the chapter also offers some useful lessons for how to approach conservation work under similar circumstances.



Winge, Tone, Regine Andersen and Anitha Ramanna Pathak
'Combining Farmers’ Rights and Plant Variety Protection in Indian Law'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 54-61.
> More information about the book.

In this chapter, the most far-reaching legislation to date with regard to establishing rights for farmers to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed, India’s 2001 Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (the PPVFR Act), is presented along with the story of how it was adopted. Through this act India aimed to both establish the legal space necessary for farmers to continue maintaining their traditional varieties and practices and to introduce plant breeders’ rights. This act is quite unique because it confers concurrent rights to breeders and farmers, and recognises farmers as cultivators, conservers and breeders. The chapter explains the somewhat long process of debates and revisions that led to this legislation being enacted, and presents its key provisions relevant for Farmers’ Rights, its impact so far and lessons learned.



Scurrah, Maria, Stef de Haan and Tone Winge
'Cataloguing Potato Varieties and Traditional Knowledge from the Andean Highlands of Huancavelica, Peru'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 64-79.
> More information about the book.

This chapter tells the story of how the Catalogue of Native Potato Varieties from Huancavelica, Peru, which broke new ground in the documentation of agricultural biodiversity and traditional knowledge when it was published in 2006, was created. It also relates the views and experiences of the involved farmers as well as those of its other users, looking back on the process, the catalogue itself and some of the results. The catalogue documents 147 potato varieties, along with the related traditional knowledge, and altogether eight different communities were involved in the project. The different aspects of the catalogue are discussed, and lessons learned are presented.



Andersen, Regine, Teresita H. Borromeo and Nestor C. Altoveros
'A Community Registry in the Philippines'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 80-93.
> More information about the book.

This chapter shows how farmers on the island of Bohol in the Philippines established a community registry in response to Philippine legislation on plant variety protection. This was done to ensure that the varieties they maintained and bred could continue to be freely available to farmers. The farmers feel that this registry has provided them with a safety measure, enabling them to maintain their traditional ways of seed sharing and the exchange of related knowledge. In the chapter the main relevant national legislation, as well as the organisation and impact of the registry are analysed. In addition, challenges encountered and lessons learned are presented.



Ceccarelli, Salvatore, Stefania Grando and Tone Winge
'Participatory Barley Breeding in Syria'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 97-116.
> More information about the book.

This chapter presents a model for participatory plant breeding (PPB), defined as plant breeding where equal weight is given to the opinions of farmers and scientists, developed in Syria. The key features and the impact of this particular PPB model, as well the challenges encountered by the project and the difficulties that led to its termination, are discussed. In addition, the chapter analyses what these experiences can teach projects and decision-makers in other countries and the lessons that can be learned.



Winge, Tone, Regine Andersen and Pratap Shrestha
'Benefiting from Diversity in Nepal'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 117-133.
> More information about the book.

This chapter shows how benefit sharing as envisioned under the Plant Treaty can take place through the adding of value to produce, marketing efforts, knowledge sharing and collaboration between farmers and between farmers and scientists. It tells the story of how farmers in the hills around Pokhara in central-western Nepal became aware of the value of the local crop genetic diversity and how their activities have led to improved livelihoods and contributed to the realisation of Farmers’ Rights.



Chakanda, Robert, Andrew Mushita and Tone Winge
'Community Seed Fairs in Zimbabwe'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 134-145.
> More information about the book.

This chapter tells the story of a set of farmer-driven, but NGO supported, seed fairs in Zimbabwe and how they are organised, and discussses the impact these fairs have had on the maintenance of agricultural biodiversity and the realisation of Farmers’ Rights. The chapter also presents relevant national legislation and the challenges faced, and offers som lessons for other countries.



Abay, Fetien, Åsmund Bjørnstad and Tone Winge
'Farmer Innovation in Tigray, Ethiopia'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 146-155.
> More information about the book.

Specifically adapted traditional varieties are still in use in Tigray, Ethiopia, and traditional knowledge in varietal selection is practised by farmers. This chapter about barley and farmer innovation shows how the traditions regarding cultivation, preparation and storage can be kept alive and expanded through in situ conservation, active use and innovation. In addition, the chapter illustrates the potential impact of breeding efforts and how the benefits from innovations based on crop genetic resources and traditional knowledge can be shared. The chapter also discusses how such local knowledge and practices can be strengthened and added to through collaborative breeding projects with participation from both local farmers and researchers. By showing the link that exists between benefit sharing and the maintenance of traditional knowledge, the chapter also demonstrates how the various aspects of Farmers’ Rights can be jointly realised.



Goïta, Mamadou, Modibo Goïta, Mohamed Coulibaly and Tone Winge
'Capacity Building and Farmer Empowerment in Mali'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 156-166.
> More information about the book.

This chapter discusses the experiences and impact of the Seeds of Survival project in the district of Douentza in Mali. The achievements with regard to the local farmers’ livelihoods and the maintenance of agricultural biodiversity and related challenges are analysed. The views and experiences of the participating farmers are central in this context. In addition, lessons for other counties are offered. The chapter shows how farmer empowerment and capacity building can contribute to the realization of Farmers’ Rights and illustrates the benefits farmer-scientist cooperation can bring.



Nishikawa, Yoshiaki and Tone Winge
'The Hiroshima Agricultural Gene Bank: Re-introducing Local Varieties, Maintaining Traditional Knowledge'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 167-178.
> More information about the book.

This chapter discusses how a gene bank in Hiroshima is contributing to the realization of Farmers’ Rights through its efforts related to the maintenance and re-introduction of traditional varieties. The activities of the gene bank, such as a farm-to-farm search campaign and a project on treasure vegetables, has enabled farmers to continue or take up seed saving practices and breeding, and through the gene-bank initiatives both crop genetic diversity and the related traditional knowledge are being maintained and utilized. The chaper also discusses the challenges faced by the gene bank and the farmers, and offers lessons for other countries.



Winge, Tone, Kamalesh Adhikari and Regine Andersen
'Advocacy for Farmers’ Rights in Nepal'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 181-194.
> More information about the book.

This chapter presents the story of how a civil society advocacy campaign against Nepalese UPOV membership and resulting new national legislation on plant breeders' rights during the Nepalese WTO membership negotiations had an impact on the process and contributed to the realisation of Farmers' Rights. The chapter discusses the potential effects of plant breeders' rights on Farmers' Rights, the advocacy strategy used by the Nepalse civil society network, including the involvement of farmers and farmer organisations, and the way the campaign affected events. It also looks at the relationship between the campaign and the government and explains the key factors behing the network's impact.



Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge
'Future Prospects for the Realisation of Farmers’ Rights'
In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 197-204.
> More information about the book.

This chapter focuses on some central factors of success when it comes to the realisaton of Farmers' Rights. It also indicates some gaps and needs in the context of the four elements of Farmers' Rights: the rights of farmers related to farm-saved seed, traditional knowledge, equitable benefit sharing and participation in decision-making. Lastly, it discusses the future prospects for the realisation of Farmers’ Rights at the national and international levels.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
'Common Pools in Aquaculture: Exploring Patent Law, ABS and Sui Generis Options'
In Kamau, Evanson Chege and Gerd Winter (eds), Common Pools of Genetic Resources - Equity and Innovation in International Biodiversity Law. London, Routledge, 2013, pp. 168-190.
> More information about the book.

This article concerns developing “common pool-thinking” for biotechnology in the aquaculture sector. “Common pool” is, in this context, understood as a legal system for creating a common resources base for research and development. Such a common pool must be discussed in the context of existing legal regimes of exclusivity for innovation in the aquaculture sector, as a number of existing norms are binding in their regulation of the matter. The task is to contribute to a better understanding of how law could promote marine-based innovation. The overall objective is to contribute to the understanding of how international law could contribute to the objectives of the CBD (conservation, sustainable use, benefit sharing and innovation based on aquatic genetic resources). The task is to draw lessons from emerging legal systems pertaining to genetic resources and innovation in aquaculture while exploring their interaction with a common pool approach to explore whether and how this could be a useful model for law and fish farming and breeding. Common pools of genetic resources raise several questions, challenges, even problems or obstacles, both regarding the pool and the commonness of the resources which need to be discussed if any hope of fruitfulness of approaching genetic resources and innovation from this perspective is to be had.



Rosendal, G. Kristin, Ingrid Olesen and Morten Walløe Tvedt
'Evolving Legal Regimes, Market Structures and Biology Affecting Access to and Protection of Aquaculture Genetic Resources'
Aquaculture, Vols 402-403, 2013, pp. 97-105.
> Purchase original article or download post-print version here.

The maturing aquaculture sector currently faces a number of challenges relating to the objectives of sustainability, conservation, equity and access to and legal protection of genetic resources. The study investigates, through interviews, how actors in the aquaculture sector perceive their options with a view to accessing aquatic genetic material and to protecting innovations in breeding. Moreover, the study analyses how corporate strategies, technological developments, and international regulatory regimes are perceived to affect these options, building also on scientific literature and other legal and policy documents. Included are comparisons of findings from Norwegian case studies on Atlantic salmon and Atlantic cod with similar studies on marine shrimp in India and tilapia in South East Asia and Africa.

Aquaculture is increasingly characterized by pressure toward higher production efficiency and short-term profits. Hence, actors in the aquaculture sector face emerging difficulties pertaining to affordable access to improved breeding material and technology, while also securing adequate funding for sustainable breeding programmes. Public ownership or support seems to be important measures to balance these objectives that may otherwise be hard to combine. This is particularly the case during the early phases of implementation and operation of applied aquaculture breeding programs.



Andersen, Regine
'Farmers’ Rights in Times of Change: Illusion or Reality?'
In W.S. de Boef, A. Subedi, N. Peroni, M. Thijssen and E. O'Keeffe (eds), Community Biodiversity Management: Promoting Resilience and the Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources. New York/London, Routledge, 2013, pp. 306-313.
> Information about the book

This chapter is about farmers' rights as they are addressed in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. It discusses the progress that has taken place with regard to the implementation of these rights so far, and whether the realization of farmers' rights is an illusion or a reality. While awareness regarding the need to put farmers' rights into practice is increasing among many stakeholders and there are many examples at national and local levels that can be regarded as models for the further efforts and much has been achieved internationally with regard to developing a joint understanding of farmers’ rights and their importance, major incentive structures and regulations are often detrimental to the conservation and sustainable use and represent serious obstacles to the full implementation of farmers’ rights. Such structures and regulations often include legislation on the marketing of seed and propagating material. The chapter argues that without the implementation of farmers' rights, it will be almost impossible to maintain and further develop the world's plant genetic heritage and ensure that future generations will enjoy the benefits of it.



Medaglia, Jorge Cabrera, Morten Walløe Tvedt, Frederic Perron-Welch, Ane Jørem and Freedom-Kai Phillips
The Interface between the Nagoya Protocol on ABS and the ITPGRFA at the International Level: Potential Issues for Consideration in Supporting Mutually Supportive Implementation at the National Level
FNI Report 1/2013. Lysaker, FNI, 2013, 59 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)
> Version française

After countries agreeing to the Nagoya Protocol in 2010, the implementation process has started in parallel with the ratification process. Before Nagoya, two other treaties regulated access were already in place: the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. As a contribution to clarify overlaps and possible areas of different rules, this study identifies the core articles in the NP relevance to the implementation of the ITPGRFA. This study also analysis the relevant concepts in the ITPGRFA to identify possible loopholes and grey zones between these three ABS regulations. There is a body of literature discussing the interpretation and implementation of the ITPGRFA, but there is still some disagreement on some of the core legal concepts under the treaty. This report explores the criteria for a plant genetic resources being mandatory included into the multilateral system for ABS. What is meant by ‘public domain’? How can countries decide on the matter of managing and controlling plant genetic resources? What is the relationship between the multilateral system and local and indigenous groups to plant genetic resources? All ABS systems and the attempt to make access happen and benefit sharing flow needs to hold an eye on how it will interact with IPRs. In this study a brief look is offered on the relationship between the two relevant IPRs in the plant sector, the patent system and plant breeders’ rights relate to the common pool of genetic resources in the multilateral system.



Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge
The Access and Benefit Sharing Agreement on Teff Genetic Resources: Facts and Lessons
FNI Report 6/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 159 p.
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> Download executive summary, (PDF, 527 kB)
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This report tells the story of an agreement on access to teff genetic resources in Ethiopia, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use, that was hailed as one of the most advanced of its time. This agreement between the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and the Dutch company Health and Performance Food International was entered into in 2005. It was seen as a pilot case for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity in terms of access and benefit sharing, and expectations were high. And yet, implementation of the agreement failed. The Dutch company was declared bankrupt in 2009. And, as a result of several circumstances, Ethiopia was left with fewer possibilities for generating and sharing the benefits from the use of teff genetic resources than ever before. How was this possible? Exactly what happened, and what can we learn? How can we ensure that future access and benefit-sharing agreements will have better prospects of success? These are the central questions of this report, which provides an in-depth analysis of the course of events with regard to the agreement as well as a related patent on the processing of teff, and concludes by deriving recommendations concerning future access and benefit-sharing agreements as well as for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.



Rosendal, G. Kristin, Ingrid Olesen and Morten Walløe Tvedt
Access to, Equity and Protection of Genetic Resources in Ghana: The Case of Tilapia (O. niloticus)
FNI Report 15/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 28 p.
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Ghana is a latecomer to ABS legislation although the principle of benefit sharing has long traditions in Ghanaian society, also in the aquaculture sector. Experiences from bioprospecting deals have often been negative, similar to many other cases in Africa. This underscores the need for ABS legislation and institutions also in Ghana. For aquaculture and tilapia, access issues have most relevance in a regional sense and hence it is important to retain open access to tilapia genetic material between the countries of the greater Volta region, probably more important than ensuring benefits from others’ use. Still, in the case of future interest in tilapia from multinational corporations, Ghana could benefit from a solid ABS framework, which includes aquatic genetic resources. The GIFT programme has already provided benefit sharing in terms of technology transfer – which may be equally or even more important than sharing and dissemination of breeding material or monetary payments. There may also be future interest in exchange of improved breeding material between GIFT breeding programmes and the Akosombo strain – a possible avenue for Ghana to profit from improved high-quality breeding material from the Akosombo breeding programme.



Andersen, Regine
Plant Genetic Diversity in Agriculture and Farmers’ Rights in Norway
FNI Report 17/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 119 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)
> Norsk versjon


This report takes the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as a point of departure and analyses achievements, gaps and needs with regard to its implementation in Norway, with focus on its provisions on farmers' rights. Allthough much of the crop genetic diversity has been lost in Norway, substantial efforts are made to save what is left, and to ensure farmers’ rights. The plant variety and seed marketing regulations provide some of the barriers in this work, but much depends on how they will be implemented in the time to come. Traditional knowledge is disappearing, despite efforts to stop this. A consolidated strategy for this purpose is lacking. Economic incentive structures are not yet in place, except for some ‘seed money’, and thus most of the work is based on pure idealism. Farmers invovled in crop genetic diversity could participate better in decision making if they were better organized. The hearing system is seriously challenged by the EEA-memebership, due to a high ‘turn-over’ of decisions to be implemented at the national level, lack of transparency, and since norwegian opinions have little to say against decisions from the EU. To have a say in these matters, it is probably more useful to link up with European organizations involved in the issue. Nevertheless, much has happened during the past years which support the realization of farmers’ rights and enhances the crop genetic diversity available to farmers.



Myhr, Anne Ingeborg, G. Kristin Rosendal and Ingrid Olesen
'New developments in Biotechnology and IPR in Aquaculture - Are they sustainable?'
In Z.A. Muchlisin (ed), Aquaculture . Rijeka, InTech, 2012, pp. 317-342.
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The objective of this chapter is to give an overview and analysis of the current trends and developments in biotechnology in aquaculture research and management. The technological developments along with structural changes in the aquaculture sector may affect access and intellectual property rights (IPR) regimes. These issues are discussed in a wide perspective involving both short and long-term biological effects, ethical and other social aspects (economic, legal and political issues), including their partly inherent contradictions needing compromising for sustainable development. The chapter focus on current biological challenges within aquaculture as a growing food production sector, with less emphasis on external effects such as environmental effects. Cases from farmed salmon and cod in Norway in addition to shrimp and tilapia in Asia are highlighted.



Winge, Tone
A Guide to EU Legislation on the Marketing of Seed and Plant Propagating Material in the Context of Agricultural Biodiversity
FNI Report 11/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 85 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

This report presents the EU legislation on the marketing of seed and plant propagating material, with a particular view to how it affects agricultural biodiversity. The main principles of the EU’s 12 basic directives in this area and the three directives providing derogations for the purpose of conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are discussed. As this part of EU legislation is currently undergoing review, the various elements of the review process are also presented. In addition, the report contains a guide to the literature on the development of such legislation in Europe, its effects on agricultural biodiversity, and the content and consequences of the EU directive that provides derogations for conservation varieties.



Rosendal, G. Kristin
'Adjusting Norwegian Agricultural Policy to the WTO through Multifunctionality: Utilizing the Environmental Potential?'
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Vol 14, No 2, pp. 209-227
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This article deals broadly with the receptiveness of domestic institutions to international regimes, applying an organizational theoretical approach. More specifically, the aim is to explore how international obligations emanating from multilateral agreements on environment and trade affect Norwegian agricultural policy. Multifunctionality has been portrayed as an adept way of adjusting agricultural policy to the WTO by tapping into the environmental potential. However, closer scrutiny disclosed that this potential for environmental improvements has hardly been utilised.

Partly accounting for this situation is the relatively weak role of the Ministry of the Environment in policy-making, compared to the highly institutionalized domestic interest groups associated with agriculture. The organizational field of agriculture has remained very strong, and hardly subject to normative persuasion from relatively weak international environmental regimes. Moreover, while Norwegian environmental NGOs do have the potential to affect policies, there is very little evidence of pressure for utilizing the environmental potential of multifunctionality. This study points out the strong alliance between rural and environmental grassroots organizations in Norway, with more harmonious relations than those at the ministerial level.



Haro, Monica Natalia
Sustainability Aspects of Applying GMOs in Aquaculture
FNI Report 7/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 71 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

The survey result showed that most respondents of UMB students had good knowledge about genetic modification and/or GMOs. Most of the respondents agreed that the use of GMOs results in negative environmental effects, and willingness to buy transgenic salmon increased considerably if it was more environmentally friendly. There was a tendency for men to be more positive than women towards buying transgenic salmon if it is more environmentally friendly.

Surprisingly, it was found that production of cheaper food could not motivate the majority of the students to support the use of GMOs. Many students were not willing to buy transgenic salmon if it was more nutritious or more disease resistant. Many students agreed that there is a need to reduce the risk by initiating more research on GMOs, that new knowledge about risks must be taken into account and that we need to seek expert advice to get more understanding about the potential risks to health and the environment. The students also strongly agreed upon the need to reduce the possible risks of GMOs application by increasing transparency to the public about research and information on GMO technology. Moreover, it was also acknowledged the need for improving communication between scientists and the public.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
'Kan tilgang til og godefordeling ved bruk av genetiske ressurser bidra til biologisk mangfold?' ('How can Access and Benefit Sharing contribute to conservation of biological diversity?')
In I.L. Backer, O.K. Fauchald and C. Voigt (eds), Pro Natura - Festskrift til Hans Christian Bugge. Oslo, Universitetsforlaget, 2012, pp. 518-530. In Norwegian.
> More information about the book here
> Download the chapter here

This article takes a closer look at the possibilities - options and obstacles for access and benefit sharing to contribute to the conservation of biological diversity. The Nagoya Protocol and challenges in its implementation i a core topic for this analysis. It is suggested that the lack of political will to oblige biotechnology is one essential challenge for a functinoal implementation. It is also suggested that identical conditinos for research and development is a core reason for user countries to be reluctant in implmenting strick obligations on their industry to share benefits. The great challenge for ABS to succeed is how to create incentives for the actual users of genetic resoruces to contribute to the overall conservation goal. Before the CBD and its members acheive the establishment of such incentives, there probably will be difficult for ABS to contribute substantially to conservation of biodiversity.



Pathak, Anitha Ramanna
Access to Genetic Resources and ‘Rings of Protection’ in Indian Shrimp Aquaculture
FNI Report 5/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 30 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

This study examines the global and national factors affecting India’s policy on access and rights in relation to the shrimp sector. Shrimp aquaculture in India has witnessed recent changes that illustrate the complexities involved in establishing a framework for importing improved breeding material, and ensuring access to aquatic genetic resources. Historically, the shrimp sector in India has been mainly based on public sector led investments along with the private sector involvement for increasing production, and developing and widely disseminating material, rather than creating proprietary products. This structure is undergoing changes with the Government of India’s recent steps to acquire improved material and to permit import of an exotic species. In tune with global trends, foreign companies are using biological and technological strategies (‘rings of protection’) rather than IPRs to protect their materials in India. This study finds that although stakeholders do not currently perceive the implications of such structural and legal shifts, restrictions on access could pose a real challenge to the Indian shrimp sector. Dependence on imported material, monopoly situations, future demands for IPRs, greater privatization and commercialization are outlined as factors that could restrict access to resources for stakeholders. This study points out the implications of international developments with regard to access and rights, and outlines various policy options that India could pursue to balance rights and access to aquatic genetic resources.



Fauchald, Ole Kristian and Lars H. Gulbrandsen
'The Norwegian Reform of Protected Area Management: A Grand Experiment with Delegation of Authority?'
Local Environment, Vol 17, No 2, 2012, pp. 203-222.
> Download the post-print version here or purchase the original article here

In 2009, the Norwegian Storting (Parliament) decided to embark on a reform of the governance of protected areas. The reform establishes more than 40 local management boards with extensive decision-making authority over much of Norway’s protected areas. The boards have management authority over clusters of national parks, protected landscapes, and nature reserves. The reform was initiated in a situation of considerable conflict regarding protected areas and where the environment to be protected was deemed threatened in over one-third of the cases. This article examines the implementation of the reform and discusses the implications for the balance between local user interests and long-term environmental interests, finding that the reform is likely to reduce conflict levels and increase the weight given to local user interests. Policy measures are suggested for strengthening long-term environmental interests and issues for further research are identified.



Rosendal, Kristin and Peter Johan Schei
'Convention on Biological Diversity: From National Conservation to Global Responsibility'
In Steinar Andresen, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir Hønneland (eds), International Environmental Agreements: An Introduction. London/New York, Routledge, 2012, pp. 119-133.
> More information about the book at the publisher's website

The loss of biodiversity is estimated at about 100 times the natural background rate, i.e. without human intervention. This loss affects the great range of ecosystem services such as local/regional water and climate regulation, soil protection, pest control and crop pollination in addition to the provision of food, fodder, and building and biotechnological materials as well as cultural, spiritual, recreational and other intrinsic values of biodiversity. The main bulk of terrestrial biodiversity is found in tropical areas and the financial mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) represents an acknowledgement that developing countries cannot carry the full costs conservation of biodiversity. The CBD tries to balance conservation, access and equitable sharing of benefits from use of genetic resources, and legal protection (patents) to biological material. The development of modern biotechnology has brought about a need for - and the application of - patents. Biotechnology made it possible to fulfil the legal patent criteria for inventions involving biological material, but it has proved difficult to provide similar legal protection of the traditional knowledge about these resources. Without progress on the equity dimension to boost the legitimate will in developing countries, the goals for biodiversity conservation can hardly be successfully implemented. This necessitates compatible legislation on access & benefit sharing in user countries in the North. An overall explanation of the lack of implementation of the CBD, also in a rich country like Norway, is lack of political will, lack of compatible regulations on access and benefit sharing, and insufficient financial resources for conservation. As long as biodiversity is not included in the general economy, the concern for biodiversity is unlikely to find sufficiently strong allies against economical and industrial interests in land use change. Conservation of biodiversity will be costly, in Norway as well as in other parts of the world. It is problematic that the value of diversity through ecosystem services is still taken for granted in most resource budgets.



Andersen, Regine
'The Plant Treaty - Crop Genetic Diversity and Food Security'
In Steinar Andresen, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir Hønneland (eds), International Environmental Agreements: An Introduction. London/New York, Routledge, 2012, pp. 134-150.
> More information about the book at the publisher's website

This chapter presents the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. It starts with pinpointing the problems that the Treaty was set out to solve, in particular genetic erosion and regulations reducing access to, and sustainable use of, crop genetic resources. It then proceeds to the story of the Treaty negotiation. The Treaty builds on a previous International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and has been further developed according to a resultion adopted together with the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992. Also interaction with other international agreements played a role. The contents of the Treaty are elaborated in the chapter, with emphasis on its provisions on conservation, sustainable use, farmers' rights, and access and benefit sharing. Finally, its implementation and impact are assessed. Despite serious financial constraints, substantial progress has been made, in particular with ex situ conservation and the facilitation of access to genetic resources. Also, some progress can be noted with regard to benefit sharing and farmers' rights. Little progress has been achieved for in situ conservation and sustainable use of crop genetic resources. The chapter concludes that the Treaty has everything needed to reverse the negative trends regarding crop genetic resources, if it were implemented according to the intentions. Whether the international community will make use of this unique opportunity depends on political will.



Gulbrandsen, Lars H.
'International Forest Politics: Intergovernmental Failure, Non-Governmental Success?'
In Steinar Andresen, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir Hønneland (eds), International Environmental Agreements: An Introduction. London/New York, Routledge, 2012, pp. 151-169.
> More information about the book at the publisher's website

This chapter first explains how deforestation and forest degradation are grave local, national, and global environmental problems. Forests contribute to the global public good of biodiversity conservation. Forests provide a number of ecosystem services, including wildlife habitats, erosion control, water filtration, and carbon sequestration. Forests can also be harvested to provide a diversity of private goods such as timber, rubber, nuts, and fruits. The misalignment of public and private interest has impeded environmental protection efforts and resulted in deforestation and global forest degradation. The chapter next details the evolution of international cooperation on forest policies and how the failure to agree on a global forest convention resulted in the formation of non-state forest certification schemes. These schemes, based on market support rather than traditional public authority, have emerged in recent years to become an innovative venue for standard-setting and governance in the environmental realm.



Andersen, Regine
Plantemangfold i jordbruket og bønders rettigheter i Norge ('Plant Genetic Diversity and Farmers’ Rights in Norway')
FNI Report 11/2011. Lysaker, FNI, 2011, 116 p. In Norwegian.
> Download full-text version (PDF)
> English version

This report takes the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as a point of departure and analyses achievements, gaps and needs with regard to its implementation in Norway, with focus on its provisions on farmers' rights. Allthough much of the crop genetic diversity has been lost in Norway, substantial efforts are made to save what is left, and to ensure farmers’ rights. The plant variety and seed marketing regulations provide some of the barriers in this work, but much depends on how they will be implemented in the time to come. Traditional knowledge is disappearing, despite efforts to stop this. A consolidated strategy for this purpose is lacking. Economic incentive structures are not yet in place, except for some ‘seed money’, and thus most of the work is based on pure idealism. Farmers invovled in crop genetic diversity could participate better in decision making if they were better organized. The hearing system is seriously challenged by the EEA-memebership, due to a high ‘turn-over’ of decisions to be implemented at the national level, lack of transparency, and since norwegian opinions have little to say against decisions from the EU. To have a say in these matters, it is probably more useful to link up with European organizations involved in the issue. Nevertheless, much has happened during the past years which support the realization of farmers’ rights and enhances the crop genetic diversity available to farmers.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe and Ole Kristian Fauchald
'Implementing the Nagoya Protocol on ABS: A Hypothetical Case Study on Enforcing Benefit Sharing in Norway'
The Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol 14, No 5, 2011, pp. 383-402.
> Download pre-print version here, or purchase the original article here

In October 2010, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising From Their Utilization (NP) was adopted at the Conference of the Parties (COP-10) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The NP establishes rules on measures to be taken by user countries in the context of access and benefit sharing (ABS). The future success of ABS as embedded in CBD and the Nagoya Protocol depends on their implementation at a national level. The binding rules of CBD and NP have in common that they need to be transformed into national legal and political contexts to establish a functional system for ABS. This article addresses measures that are needed in the international regime to secure adoption and implementation of user-country measures which are compatible with provider-country legislation. It analyses one current example of user-country legislation: the recently adopted Norwegian legislation, for the purpose of finding options for and obstacles to implementing obligations in the CBD and the NP in national law and in actual practice. One part of the ABS challenge is that obligations in the CBD and the NP apply to states, whereas the actual users of genetic resources are mostly private or public enterprises: companies, universities or other institutions. Despite showing a promising start, far from all challenges of a functional ABS system are solved.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
A Report from the First Reflection Meeting on the Global Multilateral Benefit-Sharing Mechanism
FNI Report 10/2011. Lysaker, FNI, 2011, 18 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

This FNI Report summarizes the outcome of the deliberations and discussions as a first pre-preliminary discussion on the need for and modalities of a Global Multinational Benefit-sharing Mechanism. These deliberations took place during days in late March 2011, at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, according to Chatham House rules. The discussions were in no way meant to lead to any agreement or pre-determine and pre-empt the official deliberations on this issue which are scheduled to take place during the second meeting of the Open-ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on ABS (ICNP-2) in 2012.

One important finding concerns the time-perspective and the overall approach to the development of a mechanism. It was suggested that the modalities of such a benefit-sharing mechanism (BsM) could employ a step-by-step approach, beginning with the identification of common ground of consensus for parts of a mechanism. A methodology of seeking common ground for developing the ideas of a global mechanism might prove helpful for countries when exploring a potential design for the mechanism.

At the reflection meeting the background for the mechanism was outlined as to capture ABS situations not already contributing to the conservation and sustainable use through contracts as is generally assumed. Several possible needs for a mechanism were explored; each of these would probably require separate discussions of their corresponding modalities if the rationale were identified and agreed upon by parties at the second ICNP or later. Overall questions raised were whether contributions should be voluntary or mandatory; whether benefits would be shared from private and/or public sectors; and whether they should be financial and/or non-financial. The main questions regarding the recipient-side discussed were: For what purpose monetary benefits shared through the mechanism may be used; who will select beneficiaries (governance of the mechanism). Although consensus was not the aim, nor achieved, there was a constructive and explorative spirit during the two days of discussion.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
Seeking Appropriate Legislation Regulating Access and Exclusive Rights to Forest Genetic Resources in the Nordic Region
FNI Report 9/2011. Lysaker, FNI, 2011, 47 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

The Nordic region is characterised by a simple and non-bureaucratic exchange of forest genetic resources (FGR) between countries, which generally is strongly associated with the Everyman's right within the countries. The smooth regime for international exchange of FGR is regarded as very valuable for the forestry sector across the country borders, as it secures access to seeds and breeding materials.

At the same time the status of the FGR has not been defined in domestic legal regimes. If FGR follow the development for crop plants, private property rights may be influential, which in turn may impede exchange of FGR across borders. Thus, the general background for addressing access and rights to FGR is the tension between the great ecological, monetary and social value of FGR and the fact that the legal status of the FGR has not been defined.

The aims of this Report are the following: Describe the present situation as regards access and rights to FGR in the individual Nordic countries. i) Identify issues and developments in international law that could negatively affect the present situation. Ii) Explore the legal status for breeding as a process and breeding materials with emphasis on patenting and recent developments in patent legislation. Iii) Address relevant case studies in which patenting is needed for commercialisation and how this could be combined with the general open exchange system. Iv) Explore the relevance of plant breeders’ rights (UPOV) to the forest tree sector, and v) give applicable and relevant recommendations for decision makers as regards future challenges and FGR. If significant undesirable developments can be foreseen, legal steps to meet this should be suggested, given the premise that the Nordic countries wish to maintain the non-bureaucratic system as regards access and rights to FGR.

The main finding is that no crucial problems have been identified regarding ownership, access or exchange of FGR. There is a growing body of regulations at global and European regional levels, which is being implemented at national levels. Currently, patents have neither been a strong incentive for the forest sector nor entailed important obstacles for innovation in the field.



Rosendal, G. Kristin and Steinar Andresen
'Institutional Design for Improved Forest Governance through REDD: Lessons from the Global Environment Facility'
Ecological Economics, Vol 70, No 11, 2011, pp. 1908-1915
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This contribution focuses on carbon mitigation and biodiversity conservation in the context of the UN initiative for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in Developing countries (REDD). The design of REDD is important as it may channel much of the international funding that will potentially be made available for future environmental problem-solving in developing countries. The most important multilateral environmental funding mechanism is the Global Environment Facility (GEF). With its basic structural similarity to the emerging REDD, it provides a good starting point for drawing lessons relevant to the design of REDD. In explaining GEF priorities and performance we discuss the role of key actors as well as the organizational and institutional structure of GEF. These factors do not encourage coalitions for addressing environmental problems in the poorest countries. The institutional setting of REDD in the Convention on Climate Change may further exacerbate this trend, as neither conservation nor socioeconomic concerns like the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples and local communities are addressed.



Rosendal, G. Kristin
'Biodiversity Protection in International Negotiations: Cooperation and Conflict'
In Shlomi Dinar (ed), Beyond Resource Wars: Scarcity, Environmental Degradation, and International Cooperation. Cambridge (USA), The MIT Press, 2011, pp. 59-86.
> For orders and more information, see The MIT Press' website

The paper discusses the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with its comprehensive approach to biodiversity protection at all levels and sectors. Beyond biodiversity loss and value, an examination of the other factors that hampered and facilitated the CBD negotiations and outcome is also provided. Multiple levels of power asymmetries and controversies and evolving political norms and principles, for example, were crucial to understanding the final negotiated outcome of the CBD. The final part of the chapter looks beyond the cooperative solution and dwells on the access and benefit sharing (ABS) issue in the implementation phase. While the ABS issue can be seen as a great success for cooperation at the normative level (the CBD, likewise, contains important elements on how to deal with the ABS conflict in principle), implementation has been difficult. Asymmetries remain a stumbling block, power is often an important component in decision making, and cooperation is far from accomplished in day-to-day policy.



Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge
'Linking Community Seed Banks and Farmers’ Rights'
In Banking for the Future: Savings, Security and Seeds. Oslo, Development Fund, 2011, pp. 5-7.

This short chapter discusses the relationship between community seed banks and Farmers' Rights and how such seed banks might contribute to the realization of Farmers' Rights. It is argued that community seed banks might be seen as a type of benefit sharing, but that scaling up is necessary for such projects to have real impact on farmers.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
Norsk genressursrett ('Norwegian Gene Resource Law')
Oslo, Cappelen Akademiske Forlag, 2010, 380 p. In Norwegian.
> For more information and orders, see Cappelen Akademiske Forlag's website
> See related FNI News article

"Norsk genressursrett" ("Norwegian Gene Resource Law") is the first monograph on law regulating rights to and use of genetic resources in Norway. Genetic resources is an area with large possibilities for development of new products of high value. This research draws upon various areas of law related to biology, such as rights (private property rights, commons and intellectual property rights), public administrative law, international law, international trade law, EU law, environmental law and constitutional law. It deals with questions relevant for biology and biotechnology. This area of law is marked by rapid and ongoing changes in the legal situation. The large economic potential of the field underscores the importance of law regulating rights to these resources. This volume forms a first step in a series dealing with similar legal issues globally and in other national jurisdictions.



Ponzoni, Raul W., Hooi Ling Khaw and Hoong Yip Yee
GIFT: The Story Since Leaving ICLARM (now known as The WorldFish Center). Socioeconomic, Access and Benefit Sharing and Dissemination Aspects
FNI Report 14/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 47 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

The aim of the overall project of which this report is part is to identify possible solutions for regulating access to aquatic genetic resources and legal protection of the results of research and development in aquaculture using such resources. The case study of the collaborative program on Genetic Improvement of Farmed Tilapias (GIFT) serves as a basis for comparison with two other case studies from Norway on salmon and cod.

This study aims to address the following questions: How has the legal regime for GIFT material developed since leaving WorldFish? How has this affected the use and dissemination of GIFT material by the aquaculture sector (private and public sectors)? How has the transfer from WorldFish affected access and benefit sharing of GIFT material? And what are the effects on further developments and innovation of this breeding material? The report concludes that there is no doubt that the GIFT project has had an impact world-wide. Both the technology and the genetically improved fish have been widely distributed and are now known. Whereas we believe that it is fair to say that in many instances the improved fish have reached and benefitted the poor, it is also an area where gross mistakes were made. Such mistakes separated events from a path that could have benefitted the poor much more. The first miscalculation was to assume that GIFT Foundation International Inc. (GFII) was going to rapidly become financially self-reliant and that it did not require further support. This mistake led to another, even greater error of judgement, the alliance between GFII and GenoMar, whereby the latter profit oriented company obtained the right to breed and market GIFT. This decision brought about a change of focus of GFII from breeding and dissemination of GIFT fish to poor and small scale farmers to meeting the business objectives of GenoMar instead.



Olesen, Ingrid, Anne Ingeborg Myhr and G. Kristin Rosendal
'Sustainable Aquaculture: Are We Getting There? Ethical Perspectives on Salmon Farming.'
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Vol 24, No 4, 2011, pp. 381-408.
> Purchase the article here

Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal producing sector in the world and is expected to play an important role in global food supply. Along with this growth, concerns have been raised about the environmental effects of escapees and pollution, fish welfare, and consumer health as well as the use of marine resources for producing fish feed. In this paper we present some of the major challenges salmon farming is facing today. We discuss issues of relevance to how to ensure sustainability, by focusing on animal production systems, breeding approaches, sources for feed ingredients, and genetic engineering strategies. Other crucial issues such as animal welfare, environmental quality, and ethics are elaborated with regard to relevance for the sustainability of aquaculture. Additionally, we comment on socio-economic distributive implications by intellectual property rights (IPR) strategies on access to genetic material and traceability. To improve sustainability of salmon farming we suggest that there is a need for new approaches to guide research, for identification of ethical issues, and for engaging stakeholders in resolving these challenges.



Samndong, Raymond Achu
ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa: The Case of Prunus Africana in Cameroon
FNI Report 11/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 28 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

This paper provides some information and knowledge on Prunus africana as a case study of ABS capacity development. As a desk study, the paper discusses the intrinsic medicinal value of Prunus, its importance to the livelihoods of the locals and identifies local strengths as well as shortcomings in the existing ABS agreement related to Prunus in Cameroon that are important in the ongoing negotiation process of the international ABS regime. The case study draws attention to the gap that exists between genetic resources and biological resources in the ABS component of the CBD, and its implications regarding the negotiation process of the ABS regime.



Rosendal, G. Kristin
Analytical Framework for Analysing Experiences from Case Studies of ABS in Africa
FNI Report 7/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 11 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

In this report we describe the methodologies we used to bring forth insight regarding success factors for establishing and implementing appropriate ABS legislation in African countries. We point out some empirical limitations as to what such studies may cover, and describe some of the variety of cases that we deem appropriate. We assume that there may be important lessions to learn from picking cases from a variety of sectors. We are therefore more concerned with drawing lessons from various sectors than with regional representation. The questionnaire we developed includes and highlights factors central to describing will and ability to implement: in terms of institutional capacity, and relationship between science and policy, in addition to the contractual environment presented by external actors that may act as drivers or barriers. By way of evaluating the 'goal achievement/ degree of successful implementation', we base this partly on stakeholders' own perceptions and in addition we will include our own standards for measuring success. These standards are tied to the three-fold objectives of the CBD: conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing.



Rosendal, G. Kristin
Access to and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources in Cameroon: Legal and Institutional Developments and Challenges
FNI Report 8/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 29 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

This study aims to uncover specific and general needs as well as provide insight regarding success factors for establishing and implementing appropriate ABS legislation in Cameroon. The main focus is on providing insight regarding successful institutional designs and effective capacity building for handling ABS issues. The methodology applied in this report is partly document analysis, as we look into the most central as well as draft legal framework on ABS legislation in Cameroon. The main body of our empirical data material for the report has been, however, accessed through interviews. In our interviews we asked key actors to pinpoint specific barriers to ABS policy and legislation. Institutional factors could involve coordination between various sector ministries and other interests, and the domestic distribution of authority between central and local level providers of genetic resources. Moreover, we asked whether the actors saw established institutions as being able to monitor permits to prospect genetic material as well as to develop taxonomic studies and inventories to increase knowledge about the country's biodiversity. This latter aspect relates to how science and policy interact in the decision-making process on ABS. Finally, we investigated perceptions concerning the relationship between domestic and external actors in establishing bioprospecting deals.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe and Olivier Rukundo
Functionality of an ABS Protocol
FNI Report 9/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 25 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

The present study is an analysis of the draft Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing which came into being after the deliberations of the resumed Ninth Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit sharing which took place in July 2010 in Montreal. The study examines a range of contentious issues where disagreement has prevailed among negotiating parties and regional groups, with a view to providing a legal analysis of the state of play of the negotiations. It is our hope that this can contribute to a better technical understanding of some of the issues at the core of the negotiations and assist in the preparations for the last round of negotiations before the adoption of the Protocol. The idea is to share our perspectives on where negotiations stand at this juncture. The aim is to offer some thoughts as to how certain provisions of the draft Protocol can be dealt with in view of ensuring that the Protocol will effectively contribute to the fulfilment of the third objective of the CBD. The provisions of the Protocol, as they currently stand, will not be conducive to the fair and equitable sharing of benefits unless the wording can be further clarified to ensure that the Protocol will be implemented into national legislation and that it will in fact have legal effect on users of genetic resources. Particular attention is given to issues related to the scope, utilisation, and relationship of the prospective Protocol with other international instruments, pathogens and elements at the nexus between access and compliance.



Schei, Peter Johan and Morten Walløe Tvedt
'Genetic Resources' in the CBD: The Wording, the Past, the Present and the Future
FNI Report 4/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 24 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

This report, ‘Genetic Resources’ in the CBD: The Wording, the Past, the Present and the Future, aims at contributing to the development of an International Regime on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) by clarifying the concept of ‘genetic resources’ as it has emerged and keeps evolving. This is done particularly in light of the new knowledge and understanding developed in genomics and proteomics since 1992, the establishment of ex situ collections of genetic material and data bases of genetic information, the emerging global markets for these resources, and recent developments in modern biotechnology, biochemistry and synthetic biology. It takes a look at several examples of different ways in which the term ‘genetic resources’ is used in other international arenas than the CBD. The concept ‘genetic resources’ seems to be a dynamic one which has potential to grasp the changing knowledge and technology.

This report has also been published as Information Document UNEP/CBD/WG-ABS/9/INF/1 at the 9th meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing (WG ABS 9) in Cali, Colombia, 22-28 March 2010.



Andersen, Regine, Morten Walløe Tvedt, Ole Kristian Fauchald, Tone Winge, Kristin Rosendal and Peter Johan Schei
International Agreements and Processes Affecting an International Regime on Access and Benefit Sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity: Implications for its Scope and Possibilities of a Sectoral Approach
FNI Report 3/2010. Lysaker, FNI, 2010, 47 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

Intended as a contribution to the ongoing negotiations of an international regime on access and benefit sharing (ABS) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), this report clarifies the main interfaces with other international agreements and processes relevant for ABS, with a view to the challenges of ensuring mutual supportiveness. It provides information of importance for identifying the scope of an international ABS regime, and offers contributions to the discussion of the usefulness and possible design of a sectoral approach to ABS within the framework of an international regime.

Covered in the report are international agreements and processes pertaining to genetic resources for food and agriculture; marine areas within and beyond national jurisdiction; pathogens; traditional knowledge related to genetic resources; and intellectual property rights. For each section, the interface with ABS is identified, implications of this interface for ABS are highlighted, and options for dealing with these implications derived. The report ends with a discussion of the usefulness and possible design of a sectoral approach to ABS, concluding that there are good arguments for a broad and inclusive international regime on ABS, but that its usefulness will depend on its ability to meet the specific requirements of the various sub-categories of genetic resources.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe and Tomme Young
Au-delà de l'accès: l'application du partage juste et équitable des avantages en vertu de la CBD ('Beyond Access: Exploring Implementation of the Fair and Equitable Sharing Commitment in the CBD')
Gland (Switzerland), IUCN, 2009, xxii + 151 p. In French
> Download the book (PDF)

This book is a French translation of Beyond Access: Exploring Implementation of the Fair and Equitable Sharing Commitment in the CBD.



Young, Tomme R. and Morten Walløe Tvedt
Balancing Building Blocks of a Functional ABS System
FNI Report 7/2009. Lysaker, FNI, 2009, 66 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)
> Download presentation flyer for the report

The Ad Hoc Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing under the CBD aims to propose a system for ABS to the CBD COP-10. Based on the current draft, this report seeks to identify a set of key components ("building blocks") of ABS that can help make the regime both balanced and "legally certain" (functional and implementable) at both an international and a national level. It defines legal certainty as one of the core criteria for a functional system and sets forth concrete legal proposals for elements in order for the system to achieve this virtue. As one key example, it examines the meaning of the Article 15 phrase "utilization of genetic resources" and the practical relationship between this phrase and the user's obligation to share a fair and equitable proportion of benefits arising from that use with the provider.



Andersen, Regine
Norwegian Plant Variety Protection and Seed Laws: Lessons for South Asian Countries
Trade Insight, Vol 5, No 1, 2009, pp. 12-14.

The article explaines the key features of common regimes on plant variety protection, variety release and seed marketing and shows how these regimes are being introduced in developing countries through international, regional and bilateral trade agreements. The effects on farmers' rights related to crop genetic diversity is highlighted, and implications for the management of these resources elaborated. The case of Norway is presented as an illustration of alternative paths to plant variety protection and seed laws. The article finally derives lessons of relevance for South Asian countries. Failure to protect farmers' rights in plant variety protection and seed laws would be a recipe for disaster for food security and biodiversity management for the majority of farming communities in South Asia.



Andersen, Regine
Information Paper on Farmers' Rights Submitted by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway, based on the Farmers' Rights Project
Information Papers for the Third Session of the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA. IT/GB-3/09/Inf. 6, Add. 3. Rome/Tunis, The Secretariat of the ITPGRFA, 2009, 31 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

Resolution 2/2007 of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture encourages contracting parties and relevant organizations to submit their views and experiences on the implementation of Farmers' Rights, as set out in Article 9. This input paper is the contribution of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, based on the results of its international Farmers' Rights Project. The input paper summarizes our knowledge to date on views and experiences with the implementation of farmers' rights globally, noting existing gaps and needs, and presenting recommendations on possible actions for the Governing Body. After a brief introduction on why farmers' rights matter and presentation of the research and other activities of the Farmers' Rights Project, the paper proceeds to views on the contents of farmers' rights and experiences with their realization to date. It further outlines various avenues towards systemic implementation of farmers' rights according to needs and priorities at the national level. Finally, remaining gaps and needs are identified and recommendations for the Governing Body presented.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe and Peter Johan Schei (with chapter 6 by Marbank)
Den rettslige situasjonen for MARBANK og andre marine biobanker i Norge ('The Legal Status for MARBANK and Other Marine Biobanks in Norway')
FNI Report 6/2009. Lysaker, FNI, 2009, 50 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)

This study examines the field of marine biobanks - Norway’s Marbank in particular - in terms of current legislation and practice, as well as de lege ferenda analyses. The focus is on four main issues: 1) material intended for the bank; 2) collector’s rights concerning the biological material; 3) recommendations as to activities to be undertaken by the biobank while the material is there; 4) legal questions arising from withdrawal of the material from the biobank. In order to create legal predictability for commercial users of a marine biobank, it is important establish clear routines for the collection of material, especially in terms of: a) any rights that may pertain to the material in question; and b) whether the material has been obtained legally. Moreover, clarification of the latter point is legally required in order to comply with the requirement concerning information in §60 of the Law on Natural Diversity (naturmangfoldloven). The biobank will need to make clear which - if any - rights those depositing material in the biobank are entitled to. From the perspective of the authorities it is especially important to regulate what will happen to a collection if the activity of the biobank should be discontinued. As long as the biobank remains operative, the main question concerns responsibility for ensuring that the material is not lost or damaged. One strong motivating reason for establishing a biobank is the desire to make marine biological material available for all types of research and development. Having simple routines and regulations for access to the collection should make matters easier for users. Further, there should be routines concerning obligatory accompanying information on source country, land of origin, and whether the material has been legally obtained, for genetic material collected in areas outside Norwegian jurisdiction. Finally, it should be borne in mind that predictability and accountability are central factors for commerce and industry.



Myhr, Anne Ingeborg and G. Kristin Rosendal
'GMO Assessment in Norway: Societal Utility and Sustainable Development'
EMBO Reports, Vol 10, No 9, 2009, pp. 2-3.
> Access full-text version (subscribers only)

The report assesses how applications for marketing of GMOs fulfil the criteria of sustainable development and societal utility in the Norwegian Gene Technology Act. GMO legislation in Norway is closely linked to that of the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). There are many similarities both regulatory and in practice between Norway and the EU in GMO assessments. Norway and the EU put more or less equal regulatory weight on the criteria of ethics, health and environment. In practical policy, EU approval processes have ended in deadlock fourteen times in a row since the end of the informal moratorium in 2004, commercially grown GM crops remain banned, and there is still controversy among EU member states with regard to GM crops. A major difference stemming from the legal requirements in Norway concerns health and environmental effects in countries where GMOs are grown, often in developing countries. Final results of the GMO assessments are still uncertain and pending, with huge piles of applications waiting both in the EU and Norway.

This article is a refined and condensed version of the report GMO Assessment in Norway as Compared to EU Procedures: Societal Utility and Sustainable Development published by the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management.



Myhr, Anne Ingeborg and G. Kristin Rosendal
GMO Assessment in Norway as Compared to EU Procedures: Societal Utility and Sustainable Development
DN Evaluations 2-2009. Trondheim, Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, 52 p.
> Download the report

The overall mandate of the study was to assess how and to what extent marketing applications for GMOs fulfil the criteria of sustainable development and societal utility in the Norwegian Gene Technology Act. The authors identified four objectives: a) elaborate how the Norwegian authorities can use the procedures implemented in the EU system; b) discuss how the concepts of sustainable development and societal utility can be applied in a broader sense; c) evaluate the information provided in two given GMO marketing applications, with a focus on the adequacy of the supplemented information; and d) develop recommendations concerning the assessment of sustainable development and societal utility. The report is based on a desk study of available literature and documentation.



Olesen, Ingrid, G. Kristin Rosendal, Morten Rye, Morten Walløe Tvedt and Hans B. Bentsen
'Who Shall Own the Genes of Farmed Fish?'
In Hagen, I.J. and T.S. Halvorsen (eds), Global Privatization and Its Impact. Hauppauge (USA), Nova Science Publishers, 2009, pp. 103-113.
> Download the chapter from the publisher's website

A central socio-economic challenge in fish breeding arises from issues relating to access and exclusive rights to genetic resources. Breeding companies need legal or biological protection measures to assure revenues from genetic improvement and investment in genetic material. Fish farmers and breeders need access to genetic resources for food production and further development and sustainable use of fish genetic material. This study brings together perspectives based on international and domestic legal processes with the needs and perceptions of actors in the aquaculture sector. Awareness among actors of international regulation of genetic resources, as well as evolving structures within the aquaculture sector, will affect choices of protection and the scope for access to fish genetic resources. We found discrepancy between the knowledge of farmers and breeders with respect to access and legal rights to genetic resources and the actual possibilities and limits offered by present and future legislation. Our respondents wanted a balance between access to breeding material and protection of own innovations in fish breeding. Furthermore, there was an emerging realisation among the breeders that the value of improved breeding material is invariably underestimated, leaving the farmers to reap most of the added value from fish breeding.



Scurrah, Maria, Regine Andersen and Tone Winge
Los Derechos del Agricultor en el Perú: Las perspectivas de los agricultores. Estudio de antecedentes 8 ('Farmers' Rights in Peru: Farmers' Perspectives. Background Study 8')
FNI Report 3/2009. Lysaker, FNI, 2009, 63 p. In Spanish.
> Download full-text version (PDF)
> Resumen en Español

This report is a Spanish translation of FNI Report 16/2008.



Scurrah, Maria, Regine Andersen and Tone Winge
The Farmers' Rights Project – Background Study 8: Farmers' Rights in Peru: Farmers' Perspectives
FNI Report 16/2008. Lysaker, FNI, 2008, 57 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)
> Version Español

The realization of Farmers’ Rights is crucial to the maintenance of Peru’s rich agro-biodiversity and for poverty alleviation. This report presents the perceptions and experiences of 180 farmers from various regions of the Peruvian Andes on issues related to Farmers’ Rights as they are addressed in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. A series of regional workshops were held in the Andes from March to May 2008 to map the views, experiences and suggestions of farmers on the realization of Farmers’ Rights. Their views were presented at a national multi-stakeholder workshop in Lima in September 2008, where also central government institutions, NGOs, farmers’ organizations, as well as gene bank officials and breeders were represented. In this report the results from these workshops are presented and analyzed as to how they can form the basis for future policies on Farmers’ Rights in Peru. Central recommendations include documentation of traditional knowledge; the establishment of agro-biodiversity reserves; support to community gene banks, seed fairs and exchange visits; participatory research on traditional seed systems and participatory plant breeding; assistance in processing and marketing products made from traditional varieties; improved economic incentive structures for maintaining traditional crop varieties; and the establishment of pilot villages to bolster the conservation and exchange of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Suggestions for activities to foster farmers’ participation in decision-making are elaborated as well as institutional questions on how to coordinate the realization of Farmers’ Rights.



Andersen, Regine
'Plantetraktaten: Sortsmangfold og matsikkerhet' ('The Plant Treaty: Crop Genetic Diversity and Food Security')
In Andresen, Steinar, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir Hønneland (eds): Internasjonal miljøpolitikk ('International Environmental Politics'). Bergen, Fagbokforlaget, 2008, pp. 150-166. In Norwegian.
> For orders and more information, see Fagbokforlaget's website

This chapter presents the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Plant Treaty) of 2001. Crop genetic diversity is the basis of all food production in the world and thus of food security at large as well as poverty alleviation in developing countries. However the diversity is dissappearing at fast pace and the proliferation of various types of legislation make access to, and use of, these vital resources increasingly more difficult. This is the background of the Plant Treaty. The objectives are the conservation and sustainable use of crop genetic resources and the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use. Central elements are the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit Sharing and provisions on the relealization of Farmers’ Rights, which is a precondition for farmers to maintain crop genetic resources in the fields. The Multilateral System is the furthest implemented component of the Treaty, whereas work on conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources and Farmers’ Rights is so far lagging behind. Initiatives are, however, underway. Norway has actively supported the negotiation and international implementation of the Treaty. At the national level the implementation is in the initial stages. However, Norway is in a good position to make achievements in this regard, as it has a small and cooperative seed industry, good economy and a conducive political environment.



Rosendal, G. Kristin and Peter Johan Schei
'Konvensjonen om biologisk mangfold' ('The Convention on Biological Diversity')
In Andresen, Steinar, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir Hønneland (eds): Internasjonal miljøpolitikk ('International Environmental Politics'). Bergen, Fagbokforlaget, 2008, pp. 135-149. In Norwegian.
> For orders and more information, see Fagbokforlaget's website

The loss of biodiversity is estimated at about 100 times the natural background rate, i.e. without human intervention. This loss affects the great range of ecosystem services such as local/regional water and climate regulation, soil protection, pest control and crop pollination in addition to the provision of food, fodder, and building and biotechnological materials as well as cultural, spiritual, recreational and other intrinsic values of biodiversity. The main bulk of terrestrial biodiversity is found in tropical areas and the financial mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) represents an acknowledgement that developing countries cannot carry the full costs conservation of biodiversity. The CBD tries to balance conservation, access and equitable sharing of benefits from use of genetic resources, and legal protection (patents) to biological material. The development of modern biotechnology has brought about a need for - and the application of - patents. Biotechnology made it possible to fulfil the legal patent criteria for inventions involving biological material, but it has proved difficult to provide similar legal protection of the traditional knowledge about these resources. Without progress on the equity dimension to boost the legitimate will in developing countries, the goals for biodiversity conservation can hardly be successfully implemented. This necessitates compatible legislation on access & benefit sharing in user countries in the North. An overall explanation of the lack of implementation of the CBD, also in a rich country like Norway, is lack of political will, lack of compatible regulations on access and benefit sharing, and insufficient financial resources for conservation. As long as biodiversity is not included in the general economy, the concern for biodiversity is unlikely to find sufficiently strong allies against economical and industrial interests in land use change. Conservation of biodiversity will be costly, in Norway as well as in other parts of the world. It is problematic that the value of diversity through ecosystem services is still taken for granted in most resource budgets.



Gulbrandsen, Lars H.
'Internasjonal skogpolitikk: Fra stat til marked' ('International Forest Politics: From Public to Privat Sector Initiatives')
In Andresen, Steinar, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir Hønneland (eds): Internasjonal miljøpolitikk ('International Environmental Politics'). Bergen, Fagbokforlaget, 2008, pp. 168-185. In Norwegian.
> For orders and more information, see Fagbokforlaget's website

This textbook chapter first explains how deforestation and forest degradation are grave local, national, and global environmental problems. Forests contribute to the global public good of biodiversity conservation. Forests provide a number of ecosystem services, including wildlife habitats, erosion control, water filtration, and carbon sequestration. Forests can also be harvested to provide a diversity of private goods such as timber, rubber, nuts, and fruits. The misalignment of public and private interest has impeded environmental protection efforts and resulted in deforestation and global forest degradation. The chapter next details the evolution of international cooperation on forest policies and how the failure to agree on a global forest convention resulted in the formation of non-state forest certification schemes. These schemes, based on market support rather than traditional public authority, have emerged in recent years to become an innovative venue for standard-setting and governance in the environmental realm. The last section of the chapter examines how international forest processes, both public and private, have influenced forest protection and forest policies in Norway. The chapter concludes that although Norwegian forest policies are increasingly shaped by international processes, national forestry authorities and forestry interest still have significant influence over domestic policies.



G. Kristin Rosendal
'Interpreting Sustainable Development and Societal Utility in Norwegian GMO Assessments'
European Environment, Vol 18, No 4, 2008, pp. 243-256.
> Download full-text post-print version (PDF) or access the definitive version here (subscribers only)

This article examines the process of assessing applications for genetically modified (GM) crops or plants for import or commercial planting in Norway. GMO legislation in Norway is closely linked to the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), to which Norway is a party. A central difference with the EU processes is emanating from specific clauses in the Norwegian Gene Technology Act on ‘sustainable development’ and ‘societal utility’, which provide a potentially wider leverage for Norwegian authorities to turn down the applications. Research material indicates evidence of an increasingly restrictive practice in the Norwegian evaluations; raising the question of how this can be explained in the face of increasing global acceptance of GMOs. A related question is to what extent and how this result is affected by the trends in the EU. An increasingly restrictive practice may be explained by changes in the access structure to the evaluating body, or it may be due to learning and a growing acceptance of the precautionary principle in this sector. Third, a higher number of rejections may largely be associated with the interest structure pertaining to GMOs in Norway. Final decisions are pending and there are uncertainties concerning how Norwegian authorities will apply the specific criteria of the Gene Technology Act.



Tvedt, Morten Walløe and Magnus Finckenhagen
'Scope of Process Patents in Farm Animal Breeding'
Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol 11, No 3, 2008, pp. 203-228.
> Download full-text post-print version, or purchase the original article here



Andersen, Regine
Governing Agrobiodiversity: Plant Genetics and Developing Countries
Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008, 420 p.
> For more informations and orders, see Ashgate's website or download book flyer.
> Read book review in Experimental Agriculture.



Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge
The Farmers' Rights Project – Background Study 7: Success Stories from the Realization of Farmers' Rights Related to Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
FNI Report 4/2008. Lysaker, FNI, 2008, 72 p.
> Download full-text version (PDF)



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
'The Disclosure Obligation: Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing?'
Environmental Policy and Law , Vol 38, Nos 1-2, 2008, pp. 100-107.
> Access full-text article (subscribers only)



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
'Patent protection in the field of animal breeding'
Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Sciences , Vol 57, No 3, 2007, pp. 105-120.
> Download full-text post-print version (PDF) or access the definitive version here (subscribers only)



Schei, Peter Johan
Chairman’s Report. The Trondheim/UN Conference on Ecosystems and People - Biodiversity for Development - The Road to 2010 and Beyond
Trondheim, Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, 2007, 40 p.
> Download full-text version



Andersen, Regine and Gunnvor Berge
Informal International Consultation on Farmers' Rights, 18 - 20 September 2007, Lusaka, Zambia
Report M-0737 E. Oslo, Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 2007, 141 p.
> Download full-text version
> Summaries of the report are also available in French and in Spanish.



Gulbrandsen, Lars H.
'Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)'; 'Labelling'; 'Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)'; 'Rainforest Alliance Certification'
In Visser, W., D. Matten, M. Pohl and N. Tolhurst (eds), The A to Z of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Complete Reference Guide to Concepts, Codes and Organisations. Chichester (UK), John Wiley & Sons, 2007, pp. 225; 297-299; 320 and 384-385.
> Read the article on 'Labelling'
> For more information and orders, see Wiley's website



Olesen, Ingrid, G. Kristin Rosendal, Morten Walløe Tvedt, Martin Bryde and Hans B. Bentsen
'Access to and Protection of Aquaculture Genetic Resources - Structures and Strategies in Norwegian Aquaculture'
Aquaculture, Vol 272, Supplement 1, 2007, pp. S47-S61.
> Download full-text post-print version (PDF) or purchase the definitive version here



Hiemstra, S.J., A.G. Drucker, M.W. Tvedt, N. Louwaars, J.K. Oldenbroek, K. Awgichew, S. Abegaz Kebede, P.N. Bhat and A. da Silva Mariante
'What's on the Menu? Options for Stregthening the Policy and Regulatory Framework for Exchange, Use and Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources'
Animal Genetic Resources Information, No 41, 2007, pp. 65-74.
> Download the entire journal from FAO's website (PDF)



Drucker, A.G., S.J. Hiemstra, N. Louwaars, J.K. Oldenbroek, M.W. Tvedt, I. Hoffmann, K. Awgichew, S. Abegaz Kebede, P.N. Bhat and A. da Silva Mariante
'Back to the Future: How Scenarios of Future Globalisation, Biotechnology, Disease and Climate Change Can Inform Present AnGR Policy Development'
Animal Genetic Resources Information, No 41, 2007, pp. 75-89.
> Download the entire journal from FAO's website (PDF)



Tvedt, Morten Walløe and Tomme Young
Beyond Access: Exploring Implementation of the Fair and Equitable Sharing Commitment in the CBD
Gland (Switzerland), IUCN, 2007, xx + 148 p.
> Download the book (PDF)
> Version française



Tvedt, Morten Walløe, S.J. Hiemstra, A.G. Drucker, N. Louwaars and J.K. Oldenbroek
'Regulatory Options for Exchange, Use and Conservation of AnGR: A Closer Look at Property Right Issues'
Animal Genetic Resources Information, No 41, 2007, pp. 91-99.
> Download the entire journal from FAO's website (PDF)



Rosendal, G. Kristin
'Regulating the Use of Genetic Resources – Between International Authorities'
European Environment, Vol 16, No 5, 2006, pp. 265-277.
> Download full-text version (PDF)



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
'Elements for Legislation in User Countries to Meet the Fair and Equitable Benefit-Sharing Commitment'
The Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol 9, No 2, 2006, pp. 189-212.
> Download full-text post-print version (PDF)



Rosendal, G. Kristin, Ingrid Olesen, Hans B. Bentsen, Morten Walløe Tvedt and Martin Bryde
'Access to and Legal Protection of Aquaculture Genetic Resources: Norwegian Perspectives'
Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol 9, No 4, 2006, pp. 392-412.
> Download full-text post-print version (PDF)



Rosendal, G. Kristin
'The Convention on Biological Diversity: Tensions with the WTO TRIPS Agreement over Access to Genetic Resources and the Sharing of Benefits'
In Oberthür, Sebastian and Thomas Gehring (eds), Institutional Interaction in Global Environmental Governance - Synergy and Conflict among International and EU Policies. Cambridge (MA), MIT Press, 2006, pp. 79-103
> More information about the book



Tvedt, Morten Walløe
'How Will a Substantive Patent Law Treaty Affect the Public Domain for Genetic Resources and Biological Material'
The Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol 8, No 3, 2005, pp. 311-344.
> Download full-text version (PDF)
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