This is the fifth category of options to encourage, guide and promote the realization of Farmers’ Rights in the Options Document. It comprises options for in situ/on-farm conservation and management of PGRFA, such as social and cultural measures, community biodiversity management and conservation sites.
About this category of options
In the International Treaty, Contracting Parties recognize the enormous contribution that the local and indigenous communities and farmers of all regions of the world, particularly those in the centres of origin and crop diversity, have made and will continue to make for the conservation and development of PGRFA (Art. 9.1). Supporting in situ/on-farm conservation and management could thus be one way of expressing recognition and encouraging farmers and communities to continue or expand their efforts.
In situ/on-farm conservation and management of PGRFA is a holistic approach that relies on complex social-ecological systems that developed in specific localities. It depends on traditional and continuously evolving cultural values, knowledge and social practices, including those related to seed and other propagating materials. Therefore, measures under this category may also contribute to the realization of Farmers’ Rights to the protection of traditional knowledge (Art. 9.2.a) and to save, use, exchange and sell seed (Art. 9.3).
Depending on how measures under this category are set up, other provisions of Art. 9 may also be relevant.
There are three options:
- Option 5A: Support and safeguard community biodiversity management and/or other practical activities of farmers and farming communities for in situ/on-farm management of PGRFA.
- Option 5B: Strengthen the role and identity of custodian/guardian farmers and communities through social and cultural activities.
- Option 5C: Conduct and disseminate studies on the participation of farmers and communities in in situ/on-farm conservation, management and sustainable use of PGRFA, including technological, ecological, socioeconomic and cultural aspects.