My main research interests are within the fields of international and national governance of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Much of my work examines the interaction of multilateral environmental and economic agreements relating to the governance of crop genetic resources and how this affects political priorities and action at the national level. Also, the effects of regional and national plant variety release and seed marketing legislation on the domestic management of crop genetic resources are central in these analyses. The implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is at the core of my research interest. In this context, I focus particularly on the implementation of the Treaty’s provisions on farmers’ rights. Whereas most of my analyses have been focused on developing countries, I have also done considerable work on the situation in Europe and in particular Norway. Current substantive foci include community seed banks and other community-based initiatives for the management of crop genetic resources and conditions upon which they succeed as platforms for seed and food security, livelihoods and development. Another field of interest is evaluation methods in development cooperation (evaluation assignments). My field study experiences outside Europe are from Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Nepal, India, the Philippines and Peru.
- Full professor competence (2020)
- Dr. Polit., University of Oslo (2007)
- Diplom Politologin (equivalent to Cand. polit.), Free University of Berlin, Department of Political and Social Sciences (1991)
- Research Director, Biodiversity and Natural Resources, FNI (since May 2020).
- Research Professor/Senior Research Fellow/Researcher at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute since 1995 (with a break 2013–2017), engaged in research, project development and management, presentations and other dissemination activities, organization of meetings and seminars, moderation/facilitation of international consultations processes, and consultancies (mainly evaluations).
- Executive Director, Oikos – Organic Norway (January 2013 – May 2017).
- Member of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Farmers’ Rights under the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (since 2018).
- Member of the Ad Hoc Technical Committee on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture under the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (since 2016).
- Chair of the Committee on regulations related to organic production and marketing of organic products under the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (2014 – 2017).
- Member of the Norwegian Genetic Resources Committee for Plants (2011 – 2013).
- Member of the Committee on Sustainability of Genetically Modified Organisms, organized by the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board and the Directorate for Nature Management (2010 – 2011).
- Member of the Norwegian delegation to all sessions of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (since 2004).
- Member of Advisory Committee to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Results in the Development Policy, and of its working committee (2001 – 03).
- Chair of the Board of the Rainforest Foundation Norway (2006 – 2012), Vice Chair (2001 – 2006) and member (2000 – 2002 and 2012 – 2016).
- Staff representative in the Board of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (1999 – 2003).
- Course co-ordinator, Norad Training Centre, Oslo (1993 – 94).
- Executive Officer, Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft, Unit for Environment and Resource Management, Berlin (1992 – 93).
- Research assistant, Free University of Berlin, Department of the Politics of China, East- and Southeast Asia (1987 – 90).
Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices (paperback edition)
Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2017, 232 p.
Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008, 420 p.
PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES AND CHAPTERS
Stewardship or ownership in India: Options for community seed banks in managing crop genetic resources in relation to intellectual property rights
The Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol 25, No 2, 2022, pp. 432-459
Farmers’ Rights and Digital Sequence Information: Crisis or Opportunity to Reclaim Stewardship Over Agrobiodiversity?
Frontiers in Plant Science, published online 13.08.2021, 16 p. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2021.686728
Euphytica, Vol 217, Article 94, 2021, 22 p.
In Karl Zimmerer and Stef de Haan (eds), Agrobiodiversity. Integrating Knowledge for a Sustainable Future. MIT Press, 2019, pp. 283-305.
The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: toward the realization of farmers' rights as a means of protecting and enhancing crop genetic diversity
In Charles R. McManis and Burton Ong (eds), Routledge Handbook of Biodiversity and the Law. Abingdon, Routledte, 2018, pp. 135-153
Améliorer le fonctionnement du Système Multilatéral d'Accès et de Partage des Avantages au titre du TIRPAA : Résultats de l'enquête internationale
FNI Policy Brief 6/2022. Lysaker, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, August 2022, 13 p. Translation into French of the English original.
Mejorando el funcionamiento del Sistema Multilateral de Acceso y Distribución de Beneficios bajo el TIRFAA: Resultados de encuesta internacional
FNI Policy Brief 5/2022. Lysaker, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, August 2022, 12 p. Translation into Spanish of the English original.
Enhancing the functioning of the Multi-lateral System of Access and Benefit-Sharing under the Plant Treaty: Results from an international survey
FNI Policy Brief 4/2022. Lysaker, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, August 2022, 11 p.
Enhancing the functioning of the multilateral system of access and benefit sharing under the ITPGRFA: Results from an international survey
FNI Report 2/2022. Lysaker, FNI, 2022, 49 p.
RELATED RESEARCH AREA(S)
Mangfold i matplanter, frørettigheter og matsikkerhet (Diversity in food plants, seed rights and food security)
Bak maten - podcast, 17 March 2021. In Norwegian
Seed Summit: Need for safeguarding crop diversity
Horti Daily, 23 July 2020.
Special edition- Teffgate: A Dutchman’s conning of the Ethiopian State
Addis Standard, 27.11.2019.
Den afrikanske glutenfrie drømmen ('The African gluten free dream')
NRK Uriks, 1.5.2019. In Norwegian.
Tuleeko uusin superruoka Afrikasta? Etiopialainen perinnevilja on vehnää välttävän unelma – ja se patentoitiin jo Euroopassa ('Will the latest superfood come from Africa? Ethiopian traditional grain is great for avoiding wheat - and was already patented in Europe')
Yle.fi, 10.3.2019. In Finnish.