Other literature relevant for the realization of Farmers' Rights
There is a wealth of literature on the management of plant genetic resources. The following list provides some titles of relevance for Farmers' Rights, but is not intended to be exhaustive. It seeks to cover different aspects of the management of plant genetic resources from various perspectives and to provide some points of departure for further reading.
Halewood, Michael, Lopez Noriega, Isabel and Louafi, Selim (Eds.) (2012): Crop Genetic Resources as a Global Commons: Challenges in International Law and Governance
Halewood, Michael, Lopez Noriega, Isabel and Louafi, Selim (Eds.). (2012). Crop Genetic Resources as a Global Commons: Challenges in International Law and Governance. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Farmers have engaged in collective systems of conservation and innovation - improving crops and sharing their reproductive materials - since the earliest plant domestications. Relatively open flows of plant germplasm attended the early spread of agriculture; they continued in the wake of (and were driven by) imperialism, colonization, emigration, trade, development assistance and climate change. As crops have moved around the world, and agricultural innovation and production systems have expanded, so too has the scope and coverage of pools of shared plant genetic resources that support those systems. The range of actors involved in their conservation and use has also increased dramatically. This book addresses how the collective pooling and management of shared plant genetic resources for food and agriculture can be supported through laws regulating access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising from their use. Since the most important recent development in the field has been the creation of the multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, many of the chapters in this book will focus on the architecture and functioning of that system. The book analyzes tensions that are threatening to undermine the potential of access and benefit-sharing laws to support the collective pooling of plant genetic resources, and identifies opportunities to address those tensions in ways that could increase the scope, utility and sustainability of the global crop commons.
Ceccarelli, Salvatore (2012): Plant breeding with farmers. A technical manual
Ceccarelli, Salvatore. (2012). Plant breeding with farmers. A technical manual. International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
Download the pdf here (PDF, 19MB).
This manual on Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) is based primarily on the direct experience derived from several years of implementing PPB programmes in a number of countries and on a number of crops, and secondly, from a number of training courses (China, Ethiopia, Jordan, Australia, South Africa) and when necessary, on relevant scientific literature, as part of the ICARDA research programme. The methods presented here have been used by in rural communities over the course of several years particularly in North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and Algeria), the Horn of Africa (Eritrea and Ethiopia), the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen), the Near East (Syria, Jordan and Iran) and by others (NGOs, Universities, IARCs, etc.) in other countries. Most probably the methods described will not suit every situation that researchers and partners are likely to encounter; therefore, the manual will attempt to give some general principles that may help in adjusting the methodologies to new situations.
Kloppenburg, Jack Ralph (2005): First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology 1492-2000 (2nd ed.)
Kloppenburg, Jack Ralph. (2005). First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology 1492-2000 (2nd ed.). The University of Wisconsin Press.
First the Seed spotlights the history of plant breeding and the seed industry, particularly genetically engineered crops. This second edition includes an extensive new chapter on recent controversies.
CBD (2003): Report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group Meeting on the Potential Impacts of Genetic Use Restriction Technologies on Smallholder Farmers, Indigenous and Local Communities and Farmers' Rights
CIP-UPWARD 2003: Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity: A Sourcebook
CIP-UPWARD. 2003. Conservation and Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity: A Sourcebook. International Potato Center -Users' Perspectives With Agricultural Research and Development, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines. 3 Volumes.
Download the pdf here (PDF, 2MB).
The appreciation for agricultural biodiversity has grown and matured, resulting in an increasing awareness that its valuation and use could contribute to long-term conservation and use. This sourcebook encourages action aimed at managing agricultural biodiversity resources within existing landscapes and ecosystems, in support of the livelihoods of farmers, fishers and livestock keepers. The publication is a compilation of field-based experiences by scientists, development specialists, academics, policy-makers and donors around the world; it consists of three volumes: 1) Understanding agricultural biodiversity, 2) Strengthening local management of agricultural biodiversity, and 3) Ensuring an enabling environment for agricultural biodiversity. It is designed for use by rural development practitioners and local administrators, as well as trainers and educationalists.
Howard, Patricia (Ed.) (2003): Women & Plants: Gender Relations in Biodiversity Management and Conservation
Howard, Patricia (Ed.). (2003). Women & Plants: Gender Relations in Biodiversity Management and Conservation. London & New York: ZED.
Download the pdf here (PDF, 1MB).
This unique collection of in-depth case studies from Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America demonstrates the importance of women and gender relations in plant genetic resource management and conservation. It provides an overview of the concepts, relationships and contexts explaining the relatively hidden gender dimensions of people-plant relations.
Fowler, Cary (2001): Protecting Farmer Innovation: The Convention on Biological Diversity and the Question of Origin
Fowler, Cary. (2001). Protecting Farmer Innovation: The Convention on Biological Diversity and the Question of Origin. Jurimetrics, 41(4), pp. 477-488.
The objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources...." The CBD states that access is provided on the basis of "prior informed consent" and under "mutually agreed terms." Only countries that are "countries of origin" are empowered to give this consent and agree to terms. The definition of "countries of origin," however, lacks clarity and scientific rigor as applied to domesticated and cultivated species. Agricultural biodiversity is the product of innovation whether in farmer-selected crop varieties or the latest biotechnologically produced gene construct. How such innovations and associated technologies will be protected and derivative benefits apportioned has been the subject of controversy for centuries. The CBD aimed, in part, to address this question. The particular strategy employed by the CBD, however, is not likely to be successful, given the difficulties that will surely be encountered in identifying "countries of origin" for plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
Rosendal, G. Kristin (2000): The Convention on Biological Diversity and Developing Countries
Rosendal, G. Kristin. (2000). The Convention on Biological Diversity and Developing Countries. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
This book focuses on the negotiation process leading up to the formation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the domestic implementation of this international agreement. It represents the first effort within political science to study this negotiation process by applying several perspectives drawn from international relations theories while also focusing on the implementation of international agreements in a developing country. Moreover, the links between international and domestic level factors are examined by proposing and focusing on four mechanisms through which an international institution may affect domestic politics. Evidence is found that the CBD have had favourable impact on national biodiversity policies in the case-country, but that much-needed compatible legislation is lacking among developed country parties.
Target audience for this book is policy- and decision-makers, political scientists, lawyers and evironmentalists engaged in development assistance work, as well as academia in general and the biotechnology industry.
Brush, Stephen B. (Ed.) (2000): Genes in the Field: On-Farm Conservation of Crop Diversity
Brush, Stephen B. (Ed.). (2000). Genes in the Field: On-Farm Conservation of Crop Diversity. Rome: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute; Ottawa: International Development Research Centre; Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers.
Genes in the Field provides an interdisciplinary foundation for an important new conservation program: maintaining biological resources of crop plants within the systems where they have evolved. The book offers a truly global vision of the on-farm conservation movement and, like no other before it, provides a comprehensive review of the issues and challenges of on-farm conservation of genetic resources. The book's chapters are written by a collection of outstanding scholars and academics from a variety of disciplines; they include biologists, agronomists, anthropologists, economists, lawyers and agricultural development specialists. Genes in the Field is truly global in scope and multidisciplinary in character. It will appeal to a large, varied and international audience. Its most general appeal will be to professionals in the fields of conservation and agricultural development, particularly those who are involved in planning or implementing conservation programs. For course work, the book will be appropriate for graduate programs in agricultural development and conservation.
Crucible II Group (2000): Seedling Solutions. Vol.1: Policy Options for Genetic Resources: People, Plants, and Patents Revisited
Crucible II Group. (2000). Seedling Solutions. Vol.1: Policy Options for Genetic Resources: People, Plants, and Patents Revisited. Rome: IPGRI.
Download the pdf here (PDF, 924KB).
This volume brings readers up to date on what has changed, scientifically, politically and environmentally, since the first publication in 1994 of People, Plants and Patents, the book that summarized the major issues related to the owenership, conservation and exchange of plant germplasm. It offers policymakers a clear description of the facts, the fights and the fora relevant to genetic resources. Those new to these issues will also be offered a clear picture of why germplasm zis important and how it relates to trade negotiations, intellectual property disputes and national and international food and health security.
Mooney, Pat Roy (1997): The Parts of Life: Agricultural Biodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and the Role of the Third System
Fowler, Cary (1994): Unnatural Selection
Fowler, Cary. (1994). Unnatural Selection (International studies in global change). Yverdon, Switzerland: Gordon and Breach.
Seeds and planting materials are central to the agricultural industry that feeds us all. Yet, until recently, there has been little interest in analyzing the legal and political processes through which intellectual property rights are constructed for these biological materials. Concentrating on the U.S. experience, Unnatural Selection offers a comprehensive history and insightful sociological analysis of the struggle to own and control biological materials from the 1800s when farmers adapted and bred their own crops, to the first patent law covering plant varieties in 1930, to current international controversies.
Fowler, Cary & Mooney, Pat R. (1990): Shattering. Food, Politics and the Loss of Genetic Diversity
Fowler, Cary & Mooney, Pat R. (1990). Shattering. Food, Politics and the Loss of Genetic Diversity. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.
It was through control of the shattering of wild seeds that humans first domesticated plants. Now control over those very plants threatens to shatter the world's food supply, as loss of genetic diversity sets the stage for widespread hunger.
Large-scale agriculture has come to favor uniformity in food crops. More than 7,000 U.S. apple varieties once grew in American orchards; 6,000 of them are no longer available. Every broccoli variety offered through seed catalogs in 1900 has now disappeared. As the international genetics supply industry absorbs seed companies—with nearly one thousand takeovers since 1970—this trend toward uniformity seems likely to continue; and as third world agriculture is brought in line with international business interests, the gene pools of humanity's most basic foods are threatened.
The consequences are more than culinary. Without the genetic diversity from which farmers traditionally breed for resistance to diseases, crops are more susceptible to the spread of pestilence. Tragedies like the Irish Potato Famine may be thought of today as ancient history; yet the U.S. corn blight of 1970 shows that technologically based agribusiness is a breeding ground for disaster.
Shattering reviews the development of genetic diversity over 10,000 years of human agriculture, then exposes its loss in our lifetime at the hands of political and economic forces. The possibility of crisis is real; this book shows that it may not be too late to avert it.