Latin America’s Southern Cone Ministers Renew Commitment to ITPGRFA
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The Ministers of Agriculture of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay signed a Ministerial Declaration reaffirming their commitment to the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and to conserving agricultural biodiversity in the region.

The Ministerial Declaration highlights the need to strengthen the Treaty, in view of its objective regarding conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use.

2 October 2018: The Ministers of Agriculture of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay signed a Ministerial Declaration reaffirming their commitment to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and to conserving agricultural biodiversity in the region.

Signed during the 36th regular meeting of the Agricultural Council of the Southern Cone, which placed food security and crop conservation at the center of discussions, the Ministerial Declaration highlights the need to strengthen the Treaty, in view of its objective regarding conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use.

A Working Group has been mandated to address challenges concerning the ability of the ITPGRFA Multilateral System of access and benefit-sharing to generate and share monetary benefits.

“Every nation can and should benefit from the multilateral mechanisms of the International Treaty that facilitate the exchange of seeds and participation in the distribution of benefits,” said ITPGRFA Secretary Kent Nnadozie in his comments. “We welcome this Ministerial Declaration, and hope that it will encourage those Latin American countries that have not yet joined our global community to do so.”

The ITPGRFA is critical for the achievement of several SDG targets, including targets 2.3 on agricultural productivity, 2.4 on sustainable food production systems, 2.5 on genetic diversity of seeds, and 15.6 on fair and equitable benefit-sharing. Its core is the Multilateral System of access and benefit-sharing, which facilitates access to, and exchange of, a specified list of crops considered vital for food security and agricultural research. It also institutionalizes the sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of these resources. This system is currently under review, and a Working Group has been mandated with addressing challenges concerning the ability of the system to generate and share monetary benefits. The Working Group’s next meeting will be held from 10-12 October 2018, at FAO headquarters, in Rome, Italy. [FAO Press Release] [Ministerial Declaration (in Spanish)] [ITPGRFA Website] [Webpage of the eighth meeting of the Working Group on the Multilateral System] [IISD RS Coverage of the Working Group meeting]


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