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Plant Treaty

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources

Number of parties: 127

Theme: Biological Diversity

Abstract: The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is crucial in the fight against hunger and poverty and essential for the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 1 ...more »

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Entry into force: 01-Jan-2004

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    • Preamble

      • The Contracting Parties,
      • Convinced of the special nature of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, their distinctive features and problems needing distinctive solutions;
      • Alarmed by the continuing erosion of these resources;
      • Cognizant that plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are a common concern of all countries, in that all countries depend very largely on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture that originated elsewhere; Food Security
      • Acknowledging that the conservation, exploration, collection, characterization, evaluation and documentation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are essential in meeting the goals of the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action and for sustainable agricultural development for this and future generations, and that the capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to undertake such tasks needs urgently to be reinforced; Food Security
      • Noting that the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is an internationally agreed framework for such activities; Sustainable Use and Wise Management
        Plant Genetic Resources and Agricultural Biodiversity
      • Acknowledging further that plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are the raw material indispensable for crop genetic improvement, whether by means of farmers’ selection, classical plant breeding or modern biotechnologies, and are essential in adapting to unpredictable environmental changes and future human needs; Adoption
        Biotechnology
        Plant Genetic Resources and Agricultural Biodiversity
      • Affirming that the past, present and future contributions of farmers in all regions of the world, particularly those in centres of origin and diversity, in conserving, improving and making available these resources, is the basis of Farmers’ Rights; Small Scale Farmers and Farmers' Rights
      • Affirming also that the rights recognized in this Treaty to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed and other propagating material, and to participate in decision-making regarding, and in the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from, the use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, are fundamental to the realization of Farmers’ Rights, as well as the promotion of Farmers’ Rights at national and international levels;
      • Recognizing that this Treaty and other international agreements relevant to this Treaty should be mutually supportive with a view to sustainable agriculture and food security;
      • Affirming that nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as implying in any way a change in the rights and obligations of the Contracting Parties under other international agreements; Relationship between Instruments
      • Understanding that the above recital is not intended to create a hierarchy between this Treaty and other international agreements; Relationship between Instruments
      • Aware that questions regarding the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are at the meeting point between agriculture, the environment and commerce, and convinced that there should be synergy among these sectors; Private Sector and Commerce
        Agriculture
      • Aware of their responsibility to past and future generations to conserve the World’s diversity of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture; Intergenerational Equity Principle (Rio Principle 3)
      • Recognizing that, in the exercise of their sovereign rights over their plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, states may mutually benefit from the creation of an effective multilateral system for facilitated access to a negotiated selection of these resources and for the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their use; and Multilateral Environmental Agreement
        Access and Benefit Sharing
        Multilateral System
        State Sovereignty
      • Desiring to conclude an international agreement within the framework of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, hereinafter referred to as FAO, under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution; Multilateral Environmental Agreement
      • Have agreed as follows:
    • PART I - INTRODUCTION

    • Article 1 Objectives

    • Article 2 Use of Terms

      • For the purpose of this Treaty, the following terms shall have the meanings hereunder assigned to them. These definitions are not intended to cover trade in commodities:
      • "In situ conservation" means the conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated plant species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties. in situ
      • "Ex situ conservation" means the conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture outside their natural habitat. ex situ
      • "Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture" means any genetic material of plant origin of actual or potential value for food and agriculture. Plant Genetic Resources and Agricultural Biodiversity
      • "Genetic material" means any material of plant origin, including reproductive and vegetative propagating material, containing functional units of heredity.
      • "Variety" means a plant grouping, within a single botanical taxon of the lowest known rank, defined by the reproducible expression of its distinguishing and other genetic characteristics.
      • "Ex situ collection" means a collection of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture maintained outside their natural habitat. ex situ
      • "Centre of origin" means a geographical area where a plant species, either domesticated or wild, first developed its distinctive properties. Sites/Protected Areas
      • "Centre of crop diversity" means a geographic area containing a high level of genetic diversity for crop species in in situ conditions. Protected Areas
        Sites/Protected Areas
    • Article 2 Use of Terms

    • Article 3 Scope

      • This Treaty relates to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
    • PART II - GENERAL PROVISIONS

    • Article 4 General Obligations

      • Each Contracting Party shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and procedures with its obligations as provided in this Treaty.
    • Article 5 Conservation, Exploration, Collection, Characterization, Evaluation and Documentation

      • 5.1 Each Contracting Party shall, subject to national legislation, and in cooperation with other Contracting Parties where appropriate, promote an integrated approach to the exploration, conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and shall in particular, as appropriate:
      • (a) Survey and inventory plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, taking into account the status and degree of variation in existing populations, including those that are of potential use and, as feasible, assess any threats to them; Monitoring, Assessment and Evaluation
        Characterization, evaluation and utilization
        Genetic Resources
      • (b) Promote the collection of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and relevant associated information on those plant genetic resources that are under threat or are of potential use;
      • (c) Promote or support, as appropriate, farmers and local communities’ efforts to manage and conserve on-farm their plant genetic resources for food and agriculture; in situ
        Indigenous People
        Protected Areas
      • (d) Promote in situ conservation of wild crop relatives and wild plants for food production, including in protected areas, by supporting, inter alia, the efforts of indigenous and local communities; in situ
        Indigenous People
        local communities
        Protected Areas
      • (e) Cooperate to promote the development of an efficient and sustainable system of ex situ conservation, giving due attention to the need for adequate documentation, characterization, regeneration and evaluation, and promote the development and transfer of appropriate technologies for this purpose with a view to improving the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture; Technology Transfer
        International Cooperation and Coordination
        ex situ
        Sustainable Use and Wise Management
        Characterization, evaluation and utilization
      • (f) Monitor the maintenance of the viability, degree of variation, and the genetic integrity of collections of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Monitoring, Assessment and Evaluation
      • 5.2 The Contracting Parties shall, as appropriate, take steps to minimize or, if possible, eliminate threats to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Conservation
    • Article 6 Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources
      Sustainable Use and Wise Management
      Plant Genetic Resources and Agricultural Biodiversity

      • 6.1 The Contracting Parties shall develop and maintain appropriate policy and legal measures that promote the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. National Policies and Measures
      • 6.2 The sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture may include such measures as:
      • (a) pursuing fair agricultural policies that promote, as appropriate, the development and maintenance of diverse farming systems that enhance the sustainable use of agricultural biological diversity and other natural resources; Sustainable Agriculture
      • (b) strengthening research which enhances and conserves biological diversity by maximizing intra- and inter-specific variation for the benefit of farmers, especially those who generate and use their own varieties and apply ecological principles in maintaining soil fertility and in combating diseases, weeds and pests; Research and Development
        Biological Diversity
        Alien species
      • (c) promoting, as appropriate, plant breeding efforts which, with the participation of farmers, particularly in developing countries, strengthen the capacity to develop varieties particularly adapted to social, economic and ecological conditions, including in marginal areas; ex situ
        Captive Breeding
        Adaptation
        Developing Countries
      • (d) broadening the genetic base of crops and increasing the range of genetic diversity available to farmers; Genetic Resources
      • (e) promoting, as appropriate, the expanded use of local and locally adapted crops, varieties and underutilized species;
      • (f) supporting, as appropriate, the wider use of diversity of varieties and species in on-farm management, conservation and sustainable use of crops and creating strong links to plant breeding and agricultural development in order to reduce crop vulnerability and genetic erosion, and promote increased world food production compatible with sustainable development; and Adaptation
        Food Security
      • (g) reviewing, and, as appropriate, adjusting breeding strategies and regulations concerning variety release and seed distribution. Monitoring, Assessment and Evaluation
        Review
    • Article 7 National Committments and International Cooperation
      International Cooperation and Coordination

      • 7.1 Each Contracting Party shall, as appropriate, integrate into its agriculture and rural development policies and programmes, activities referred to in Articles 5 and 6, and cooperate with other Contracting Parties, directly or through FAO and other relevant international organizations, in the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Sustainable Agriculture
      • 7.2 International cooperation shall, in particular, be directed to:
      • (a) establishing or strengthening the capabilities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition with respect to conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture; Economies in Transition
        Developing Countries
      • (b) enhancing international activities to promote conservation, evaluation, documentation, genetic enhancement, plant breeding, seed multiplication; and sharing, providing access to, and exchanging, in conformity with Part IV, plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and appropriate information and technology; Information Exchange and Knowledge Management
        Access to genetic resources
        Characterization, evaluation and utilization
        Technology
      • (c) maintaining and strengthening the institutional arrangements provided for in Part V; and
      • (d) implement the funding strategy of Article 18.
    • Article 8 Technical Assistance
      Technical Assistance

      • The Contracting Parties agree to promote the provision of technical assistance to Contracting Parties, especially those that are developing countries or countries with economies in transition, either bilaterally or through the appropriate international organizations, with the objective of facilitating the implementation of this Treaty. Technical Assistance
    • PART III - FARMERS’ RIGHTS

    • Article 9 Farmers’ Rights
      Small Scale Farmers and Farmers' Rights

      • 9.1 The 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 plant genetic resources which constitute the basis of food and agriculture production throughout the world. Indigenous People
      • 9.2 The Contracting Parties agree that the responsibility for realizing Farmers’ Rights, as they relate to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, rests with national governments. In accordance with their needs and priorities, each Contracting Party should, as appropriate, and subject to its national legislation, take measures to protect and promote Farmers’ Rights, including: National Regulation and Legislation
        National Policies and Measures
      • (a) protection of traditional knowledge relevant to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture; Traditional Knowledge
      • (b) the right to equitably participate in sharing benefits arising from the utilization of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture; and Access and Benefit Sharing
      • (c) the right to participate in making decisions, at the national level, on matters related to the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Public Participation
      • 9.3 Nothing in this Article shall be interpreted to limit any rights that farmers have to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed/propagating material, subject to national law and as appropriate.
    • PART IV - THE MULTILATERAL SYSTEM OF ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING
      Multilateral System

    • Article 10 Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing

      • 10.1 In their relationships with other States, the Contracting Parties recognize the sovereign rights of States over their own plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, including that the authority to determine access to those resources rests with national governments and is subject to national legislation. State Sovereignty
      • 10.2 In the exercise of their sovereign rights, the Contracting Parties agree to establish a multilateral system, which is efficient, effective, and transparent, both to facilitate access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and to share, in a fair and equitable way, the benefits arising from the utilization of these resources, on a complementary and mutually reinforcing basis.
    • Article 11 Coverage of the Multilateral System

      • 11.1 In furtherance of the objectives of conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of their use, as stated in Article 1, the Multilateral System shall cover the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture listed in Annex I, established according to criteria of food security and interdependence. Annex, List or Inventory
      • 11.2 The Multilateral System, as identified in Article 11.1, shall include all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture listed in Annex I that are under the management and control of the Contracting Parties and in the public domain. With a view to achieving the fullest possible coverage of the Multilateral System, the Contracting Parties invite all other holders of the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture listed in Annex I to include these plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in the Multilateral System.
      • 11.3 Contracting Parties also agree to take appropriate measures to encourage natural and legal persons within their jurisdiction who hold plant genetic resources for food and agriculture listed in Annex I to include such plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in the Multilateral System.
      • 11.4 Within two years of the entry into force of the Treaty, the Governing Body shall assess the progress in including the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture referred to in paragraph 11.3 in the Multilateral System. Following this assessment, the Governing Body shall decide whether access shall continue to be facilitated to those natural and legal persons referred to in paragraph 11.3 that have not included these plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in the Multilateral System, or take such other measures as it deems appropriate. Listing or Amendments to Annexes
      • 11.5 The Multilateral System shall also include the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture listed in Annex I and held in the ex situ collections of the International Agricultural Research Centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), as provided in Article 15.1a, and in other international institutions, in accordance with Article 15.5. Relationship between Instruments
    • Article 12 Facilitated access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture within the Multilateral System
      Access to genetic resources
      National Regulation and Legislation

      • 12.1 The Contracting Parties agree that facilitated access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture under the Multilateral System, as defined in Article 11, shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty.
      • 12.2 The Contracting Parties agree to take the necessary legal or other appropriate measures to provide such access to other Contracting Parties through the Multilateral System. To this effect, such access shall also be provided to legal and natural persons under the jurisdiction of any Contracting Party, subject to the provisions of Article 11.4. National Regulation and Legislation
      • 12.3 Such access shall be provided in accordance with the conditions below:
      • (a) Access shall be provided solely for the purpose of utilization and conservation for research, breeding and training for food and agriculture, provided that such purpose does not include chemical, pharmaceutical and/or other non-food/feed industrial uses. In the case of multiple-use crops (food and non-food), their importance for food security should be the determinant for their inclusion in the Multilateral System and availability for facilitated access. Food Security
      • (b) Access shall be accorded expeditiously, without the need to track individual accessions and free of charge, or, when a fee is charged, it shall not exceed the minimal cost involved;
      • (c) All available passport data and, subject to applicable law, any other associated available non-confidential descriptive information, shall be made available with the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture provided; Information Exchange and Knowledge Management
      • (d) Recipients shall not claim any intellectual property or other rights that limit the facilitated access to the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, or their genetic parts or components, in the form received from the Multilateral System;
      • (e) Access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture under development, including material being developed by farmers, shall be at the discretion of its developer, during the period of its development; Research and Development
      • (f) Access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture protected by intellectual and other property rights shall be consistent with relevant international agreements, and with relevant national laws; Relationship between Instruments
      • (g) Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture accessed under the Multilateral System and conserved shall continue to be made available to the Multilateral System by the recipients of those plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, under the terms of this Treaty; and Access to genetic resources
        Standards and Guidelines
      • (h) Without prejudice to the other provisions under this Article, the Contracting Parties agree that access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture found in in situ conditions will be provided according to national legislation or, in the absence of such legislation, in accordance with such standards as may be set by the Governing Body. Access to genetic resources
        Standards and Guidelines
      • 12.4 To this effect, facilitated access, in accordance with Articles 12.2 and 12.3 above, shall be provided pursuant to a standard material transfer agreement (MTA), which shall be adopted by the Governing Body and contain the provisions of Articles 12.3a, d and g, as well as the benefit-sharing provisions set forth in Article 13.2d(ii) and other relevant provisions of this Treaty, and the provision that the recipient of the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture shall require that the conditions of the MTA shall apply to the transfer of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture to another person or entity, as well as to any subsequent transfers of those plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Mutually Agreed Terms
      • 12.5 Contracting Parties shall ensure that an opportunity to seek recourse is available, consistent with applicable jurisdictional requirements, under their legal systems, in case of contractual disputes arising under such MTAs, recognizing that obligations arising under such MTAs rest exclusively with the parties to those MTAs. Access to Justice
      • 12.6 In emergency disaster situations, the Contracting Parties agree to provide facilitated access to appropriate plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in the Multilateral System for the purpose of contributing to the re-establishment of agricultural systems, in cooperation with disaster relief co-ordinators. Emergencies and Incidents
    • Article 13 Benefit-sharing in the Multilateral System
      Access and Benefit Sharing

      • 13.1 The Contracting Parties recognize that facilitated access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture which are included in the Multilateral System constitutes itself a major benefit of the Multilateral System and agree that benefits accruing therefrom shall be shared fairly and equitably in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
      • 13.2 The Contracting Parties agree that benefits arising from the use, including commercial, of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture under the Multilateral System shall be shared fairly and equitably through the following mechanisms: the exchange of information, access to and transfer of technology, capacity-building, and the sharing of the benefits arising from commercialization, taking into account the priority activity areas in the rolling Global Plan of Action, under the guidance of the Governing Body: Private Sector and Commerce
      • (a) Exchange of information:
      • The Contracting Parties agree to make available information which shall, inter alia, encompass catalogues and inventories, information on technologies, results of technical, scientific and socio-economic research, including characterization, evaluation and utilization, regarding those plant genetic resources for food and agriculture under the Multilateral System. Such information shall be made available, where non-confidential, subject to applicable law and in accordance with national capabilities. Such information shall be made available to all Contracting Parties to this Treaty through the information system, provided for in Article 17. Information Exchange and Knowledge Management
      • (b) Access to and transfer of technology
      • (i) The Contracting Parties undertake to provide and/or facilitate access to technologies for the conservation, characterization, evaluation and use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture which are under the Multilateral System. Recognizing that some technologies can only be transferred through genetic material, the Contracting Parties shall provide and/or facilitate access to such technologies and genetic material which is under the Multilateral System and to improved varieties and genetic material developed through the use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture under the Multilateral System, in conformity with the provisions of Article 12. Access to these technologies, improved varieties and genetic material shall be provided and/or facilitated, while respecting applicable property rights and access laws, and in accordance with national capabilities. Technology Transfer
        Intellectual Property
        Access to genetic resources
      • (ii) Access to and transfer of technology to countries, especially to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, shall be carried out through a set of measures, such as the establishment and maintenance of, and participation in, crop-based thematic groups on utilization of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, all types of partnership in research and development and in commercial joint ventures relating to the material received, human resource development, and effective access to research facilities. Research and Development
        Economies in Transition
        Developing Countries
        Private Sector and Commerce
      • (iii) Access to and transfer of technology as referred to in (i) and (ii) above, including that protected by intellectual property rights, to developing countries that are Contracting Parties, in particular least developed countries, and countries with economies in transition, shall be provided and/or facilitated under fair and most favourable terms, in particular in the case of technologies for use in conservation as well as technologies for the benefit of farmers in developing countries, especially in least developed countries, and countries with economies in transition, including on concessional and preferential terms where mutually agreed, inter alia, through partnerships in research and development under the Multilateral System. Such access and transfer shall be provided on terms which recognize and are consistent with the adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights. Intellectual Property
        Developing Countries
        Mutually Agreed Terms
        Least Developed Country Parties
      • (c) Capacity-building Capacity Building
      • Taking into account the needs of developing countries and countries with economies in transition, as expressed through the priority they accord to building capacity in plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in their plans and programmes, when in place, in respect of those plant genetic resources for food and agriculture covered by the Multilateral System, the Contracting Parties agree to give priority to (i) establishing and/or strengthening programmes for scientific and technical education and training in conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, (ii) developing and strengthening facilities for conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, in particular in developing countries, and countries with economies in transition, and (iii) carrying out scientific research preferably, and where possible, in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, in cooperation with institutions of such countries, and developing capacity for such research in fields where they are needed.
      • (d) Sharing of monetary and other benefits of commercialization Benefit-Sharing
      • (i) The Contracting Parties agree, under the Multilateral System, to take measures in order to achieve commercial benefit-sharing, through the involvement of the private and public sectors in activities identified under this Article, through partnerships and collaboration, including with the private sector in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, in research and technology development;
      • (ii) The Contracting Parties agree that the standard Material Transfer Agreement referred to in Article 12.4 shall include a requirement that a recipient who commercializes a product that is a plant genetic resource for food and agriculture and that incorporates material accessed from the Multilateral System, shall pay to the mechanism referred to in Article 19.3f, an equitable share of the benefits arising from the commercialization of that product, except whenever such a product is available without restriction to others for further research and breeding, in which case the recipient who commercializes shall be encouraged to make such payment. Mutually Agreed Terms
      • The Governing Body shall, at its first meeting, determine the level, form and manner of the payment, in line with commercial practice. The Governing Body may decide to establish different levels of payment for various categories of recipients who commercialize such products; it may also decide on the need to exempt from such payments small farmers in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition. The Governing Body may, from time to time, review the levels of payment with a view to achieving fair and equitable sharing of benefits, and it may also assess, within a period of five years from the entry into force of this Treaty, whether the mandatory payment requirement in the MTA shall apply also in cases where such commercialized products are available without restriction to others for further research and breeding. Benefit Sharing Mech
      • 13.3 The Contracting Parties agree that benefits arising from the use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture that are shared under the Multilateral System should flow primarily, directly and indirectly, to farmers in all countries, especially in developing countries, and countries with economies in transition, who conserve and sustainably utilize plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Small Scale Farmers and Farmers' Rights
      • 13.4 The Governing Body shall, at its first meeting, consider relevant policy and criteria for specific assistance under the agreed funding strategy established under Article 18 for the conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in developing countries, and countries with economies in transition whose contribution to the diversity of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in the Multilateral System is significant and/or which have special needs. Financial resources
      • 13.5 The Contracting Parties recognize that the ability to fully implement the Global Plan of Action, in particular of developing countries and countries with economies in transition, will depend largely upon the effective implementation of this Article and of the funding strategy as provided in Article 18. Programme of Work (MEA Secretariat)
      • 13.6 The Contracting Parties shall consider modalities of a strategy of voluntary benefit-sharing contributions whereby Food Processing Industries that benefit from plant genetic resources for food and agriculture shall contribute to the Multilateral System. Standards and Guidelines
    • PART V - SUPPORTING COMPONENTS

    • Article 14 Global Plan of Action
      International Cooperation and Coordination

      • Recognizing that the rolling Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is important to this Treaty, Contracting Parties should promote its effective implementation, including through national actions and, as appropriate, international cooperation to provide a coherent framework, inter alia, for capacity-building, technology transfer and exchange of information, taking into account the provisions of Article 13 International Cooperation and Coordination
    • Article 15 Ex Situ Collections of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture held by the International Agricultural Research Centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
      Research and Development
      International Cooperation and Coordination
      ex situ

      • 15.1 The Contracting Parties recognize the importance to this Treaty of the ex situ collections of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture held in trust by the International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The Contracting Parties call upon the IARCs to sign agreements with the Governing Body with regard to such ex situ collections, in accordance with the following terms and conditions:
      • (a) Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture listed in Annex I of this Treaty and held by the IARCs shall be made available in accordance with the provisions set out in Part IV of this Treaty.
      • (b) Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture other than those listed in Annex I of this Treaty and collected before its entry into force that are held by IARCs shall be made available in accordance with the provisions of the MTA currently in use pursuant to agreements between the IARCs and the FAO. This MTA shall be amended by the Governing Body no later than its second regular session, in consultation with the IARCs, in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Treaty, especially Articles 12 and 13, and under the following conditions: Mutually Agreed Terms
      • (i) The IARCs shall periodically inform the Governing Body about the MTAs entered into, according to a schedule to be established by the Governing Body;
      • (ii) The Contracting Parties in whose territory the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture were collected from in situ conditions shall be provided with samples of such plant genetic resources for food and agriculture on demand, without any MTA;
      • (iii) Benefits arising under the above MTA that accrue to the mechanism mentioned in Article 19.3f shall be applied, in particular, to the conservation and sustainable use of the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in question, particularly in national and regional programmes in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, especially in centres of diversity and the least developed countries; and Access and Benefit Sharing
      • (iv) The IARCs shall take appropriate measures, in accordance with their capacity, to maintain effective compliance with the conditions of the MTAs, and shall promptly inform the Governing Body of cases of non-compliance. Mutually Agreed Terms
      • (c) IARCs recognize the authority of the Governing Body to provide policy guidance relating to ex situ collections held by them and subject to the provisions of this Treaty. Governing Body
      • (d) The scientific and technical facilities in which such ex situ collections are conserved shall remain under the authority of the IARCs, which undertake to manage and administer these ex situ collections in accordance with internationally accepted standards, in particular the Genebank Standards as endorsed by the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. ex situ
        Standards and Guidelines
      • (e) Upon request by an IARC, the Secretary shall endeavour to provide appropriate technical support.
      • (f) The Secretary shall have, at any time, right of access to the facilities, as well as right to inspect all activities performed therein directly related to the conservation and exchange of the material covered by this Article. Secretariat
      • (g) If the orderly maintenance of these ex situ collections held by IARCs is impeded or threatened by whatever event, including force majeure, the Secretary, with the approval of the host country, shall assist in its evacuation or transfer, to the extent possible. Emergencies and Incidents
      • 15.2 The Contracting Parties agree to provide facilitated access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Annex I under the Multilateral System to IARCs of the CGIAR that have signed agreements with the Governing Body in accordance with this Treaty. Such Centres shall be included in a list held by the Secretary to be made available to the Contracting Parties on request.
      • 15.3 The material other than that listed in Annex I, which is received and conserved by IARCs after the coming into force of this Treaty, shall be available for access on terms consistent with those mutually agreed between the IARCs that receive the material and the country of origin of such resources or the country that has acquired those resources in accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity or other applicable law.
      • 15.4 The Contracting Parties are encouraged to provide IARCs that have signed agreements with the Governing Body with access, on mutually agreed terms, to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture not listed in Annex I that are important to the programmes and activities of the IARCs. Mutually Agreed Terms
      • 15.5 The Governing Body will also seek to establish agreements for the purposes stated in this Article with other relevant international institutions. International Cooperation and Coordination
    • Article 16 International Plant Genetic Resources Networks

      • 16.1 Existing cooperation in international plant genetic resources for food and agriculture networks will be encouraged or developed on the basis of existing arrangements and consistent with the terms of this Treaty, so as to achieve as complete coverage as possible of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. International Cooperation and Coordination
      • 16.2 The Contracting Parties will encourage, as appropriate, all relevant institutions, including governmental, private, non-governmental, research, breeding and other institutions, to participate in the international networks. Captive Breeding
    • Article 17 The Global Information System on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

      • 17.1 The Contracting Parties shall cooperate to develop and strengthen a global information system to facilitate the exchange of information, based on existing information systems, on scientific, technical and environmental matters related to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, with the expectation that such exchange of information will contribute to the sharing of benefits by making information on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture available to all Contracting Parties. In developing the Global Information System, cooperation will be sought with the Clearing House Mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Information Exchange and Knowledge Management
      • 17.2 Based on notification by the Contracting Parties, early warning should be provided about hazards that threaten the efficient maintenance of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, with a view to safeguarding the material. Early Warning Systems
      • 17.3 The Contracting Parties shall cooperate with the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture of the FAO in its periodic reassessment of the state of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in order to facilitate the updating of the rolling Global Plan of Action referred to in Article 14. International Cooperation and Coordination
    • PART VI - FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

    • Article 18 Financial Resources
      Financial resources

      • 18.1 The Contracting Parties undertake to implement a funding strategy for the implementation of this Treaty in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
      • 18.2 The objectives of the funding strategy shall be to enhance the availability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of the provision of financial resources to implement activities under this Treaty.
      • 18.3 In order to mobilize funding for priority activities, plans and programmes, in particular in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and taking the Global Plan of Action into account, the Governing Body shall periodically establish a target for such funding.
      • 18.4 Pursuant to this funding strategy:
      • (a) The Contracting Parties shall take the necessary and appropriate measures within the Governing Bodies of relevant international mechanisms, funds and bodies to ensure due priority and attention to the effective allocation of predictable and agreed resources for the implementation of plans and programmes under this Treaty. International Cooperation and Coordination
      • (b) The extent to which Contracting Parties that are developing countries and Contracting Parties with economies in transition will effectively implement their commitments under this Treaty will depend on the effective allocation, particularly by the developed country Parties, of the resources referred to in this Article. Contracting Parties that are developing countries and Contracting Parties with economies in transition will accord due priority in their own plans and programmes to building capacity in plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Capacity Building
        Technical Assistance
      • (c) The Contracting Parties that are developed countries also provide, and Contracting Parties that are developing countries and Contracting Parties with economies in transition avail themselves of, financial resources for the implementation of this Treaty through bilateral and regional and multilateral channels. Such channels shall include the mechanism referred to in Article 19.3f. Financial Mechanism
      • (d) Each Contracting Party agrees to undertake, and provide financial resources for national activities for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in accordance with its national capabilities and financial resources. The financial resources provided shall not be used to ends inconsistent with this Treaty, in particular in areas related to international trade in commodities. Financial resources
        National Policies and Measures
      • (e) The Contracting Parties agree that the financial benefits arising from Article 13.2d are part of the funding strategy. Financial Mechanism
      • (f) Voluntary contributions may also be provided by Contracting Parties, the private sector, taking into account the provisions of Article 13, non-governmental organisations and other sources. The Contracting Parties agree that the Governing Body shall consider modalities of a strategy to promote such contributions; Non-Governmental Organisation(s)
        Private Sector and Commerce
      • 18.5 The Contracting Parties agree that priority will be given to the implementation of agreed plans and programmes for farmers in developing countries, especially in least developed countries, and in countries with economies in transition, who conserve and sustainably utilize plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Economies in Transition
        Developing Countries
        Least Developed Country Parties
    • PART VII - INSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS

    • Article 19 Governing Body
      Governing Body

      • 19.1 A Governing Body for this Treaty is hereby established, composed of all Contracting Parties.
      • 19.2 All decisions of the Governing Body shall be taken by consensus unless by consensus another method of arriving at a decision on certain measures is reached, except that consensus shall always be required in relation to Articles 23 and 24.
      • 19.3 The functions of the Governing Body shall be to promote the full implementation of this Treaty, keeping in view its objectives, and, in particular, to:
      • (a) provide policy direction and guidance to monitor, and adopt such recommendations as necessary for the implementation of this Treaty and, in particular, for the operation of the Multilateral System;
      • (b) adopt plans and programmes for the implementation of this Treaty;
      • (c) adopt, at its first session, and periodically review the funding strategy for the implementation of this Treaty, in accordance with the provisions of Article 18;
      • (d) adopt the budget of this Treaty; Budget (MEA Secretariat)
      • (e) consider and establish subject to the availability of necessary funds such subsidiary bodies as may be necessary, and their respective mandates and composition; Subsidiary body
      • (f) establish, as needed, an appropriate mechanism, such as a Trust Account, for receiving and utilizing financial resources that will accrue to it for purposes of implementing this Treaty; Financial Mechanism
      • (g) establish and maintain cooperation with other relevant international organizations and treaty bodies, including in particular the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, on matters covered by this Treaty, including their participation in the funding strategy; International Cooperation and Coordination
      • (h) consider and adopt, as required, amendments to this Treaty, in accordance with the provisions of Article 23; Adjustment Procedure
      • (i) consider and adopt, as required, amendments to annexes to this Treaty, in accordance with the provisions of Article 24; Listing or Amendments to Annexes
      • (j) consider modalities of a strategy to encourage voluntary contributions, in particular, with reference to Articles 13 and 18; Financial resources
      • (k) perform such other functions as may be necessary for the fulfilment of the objectives of this Treaty;
      • (l) take note of relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant international organizations and treaty bodies; Cooperation and Coordination (amongst MEAs) and Synergies
      • (m) inform, as appropriate, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant international organizations and treaty bodies of matters regarding the implementation of this Treaty; and Information Exchange and Knowledge Management
      • (n) approve the terms of agreements with the IARCs and other international institutions under Article 15, and review and amend the MTA in Article 15.
      • 19.4 Subject to Article 19.6, each Contracting Party shall have one vote and may be represented at sessions of the Governing Body by a single delegate who may be accompanied by an alternate, and by experts and advisers. Alternates, experts and advisers may take part in the proceedings of the Governing Body but may not vote, except in the case of their being duly authorized to substitute for the delegate. Experts
      • 19.5 The United Nations, its specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any State not a Contracting Party to this Treaty, may be represented as observers at sessions of the Governing Body. Any other body or agency, whether governmental or non-governmental, qualified in fields relating to conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, which has informed the Secretary of its wish to be represented as an observer at a session of the Governing Body, may be admitted unless at least one third of the Contracting Parties present object. The admission and participation of observers shall be subject to the Rules of Procedure adopted by the Governing Body. Non-Governmental Organisation(s)
        Observers (Requests for Observer Status)
      • 19.6 A Member Organization of FAO that is a Contracting Party and the member states of that Member Organization that are Contracting Parties shall exercise their membership rights and fulfil their membership obligations in accordance, mutatis mutandis, with the Constitution and General Rules of FAO.
      • 19.7 The Governing Body shall adopt and amend, as required, its own Rules of Procedure and financial rules which shall not be inconsistent with this Treaty. Rules of Procedure
      • 19.8 The presence of delegates representing a majority of the Contracting Parties shall be necessary to constitute a quorum at any session of the Governing Body.
      • 19.9 The Governing Body shall hold regular sessions at least once every two years. These sessions should, as far as possible, be held back-to-back with the regular sessions of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Conference of the Parties (COP)
      • 19.10 Special Sessions of the Governing Body shall be held at such other times as may be deemed necessary by the Governing Body, or at the written request of any Contracting Party, provided that this request is supported by at least one third of the Contracting Parties. Extraordinary Conference of the Parties
      • 19.11 The Governing Body shall elect its Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons (collectively referred to as "the Bureau"), in conformity with its Rules of Procedure. Bureau
    • Article 20 Secretary
      Secretariat

      • 20.1 The Secretary of the Governing Body shall be appointed by the Director-General of FAO, with the approval of the Governing Body. The Secretary shall be assisted by such staff as may be required.
      • 20.2 The Secretary shall perform the following functions:
      • (a) arrange for and provide administrative support for sessions of the Governing Body and for any subsidiary bodies as may be established;
      • (b) assist the Governing Body in carrying out its functions, including the performance of specific tasks that the Governing Body may decide to assign to it;
      • (c) report on its activities to the Governing Body.
      • 20.3 The Secretary shall communicate to all Contracting Parties and to the Director-General:
      • (a) decisions of the Governing Body within sixty days of adoption;
      • (b) information received from Contracting Parties in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty.
      • 20.4 The Secretary shall provide documentation in the six languages of the United Nations for sessions of the Governing Body.
      • 20.5 The Secretary shall cooperate with other organizations and treaty bodies, including in particular the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in achieving the objectives of this Treaty.
    • Article 21 Compliance
      Compliance and Enforcement

      • The Governing Body shall, at its first meeting, consider and approve cooperative and effective procedures and operational mechanisms to promote compliance with the provisions of this Treaty and to address issues of non-compliance. These procedures and mechanisms shall include monitoring, and offering advice or assistance, including legal advice or legal assistance, when needed, in particular to developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Compliance and Enforcement
    • Article 23 Amendments of the Treaty
      Adjustment Procedure

      • 23.1 Amendments to this Treaty may be proposed by any Contracting Party.
      • 23.2 Amendments to this Treaty shall be adopted at a session of the Governing Body. The text of any proposed amendment shall be communicated to Contracting Parties by the Secretary at least six months before the session at which it is proposed for adoption.
      • 23.3 All amendments to this Treaty shall only be made by consensus of the Contracting Parties present at the session of the Governing Body.
      • 23.4 Any amendment adopted by the Governing Body shall come into force among Contracting Parties having ratified, accepted or approved it on the ninetieth day after the deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval by two-thirds of the Contracting Parties. Thereafter the amendment shall enter into force for any other Contracting Party on the ninetieth day after that Contracting Party deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval of the amendment.
      • 23.5 For the purpose of this Article, an instrument deposited by a Member Organization of FAO shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by member states of such an organization.
    • Article 24 Annexes

      • 24.1 The annexes to this Treaty shall form an integral part of this Treaty and a reference to this Treaty shall constitute at the same time a reference to any annexes thereto. Annex, List or Inventory
      • 24.2 The provisions of Article 23 regarding amendments to this Treaty shall apply to the amendment of annexes. Listing or Amendments to Annexes
    • Article 25 Signature
      Signature

      • This Treaty shall be open for signature at the FAO from 3 November 2001 to 4 November 2002 by all Members of FAO and any States that are not Members of FAO but are Members of the United Nations, or any of its specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Signature
    • Article 26 Ratification, Acceptance or Approval
      Acceptance
      Approval
      Ratification

      • This Treaty shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by the Members and non-Members of FAO referred to in Article 25. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval shall be deposited with the Depositary. Acceptance
        Approval
        Ratification
    • Article 27 Accession
      Accession

      • This Treaty shall be open for accession by all Members of FAO and any States that are not Members of FAO but are Members of the United Nations, or any of its specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency from the date on which the Treaty is closed for signature. Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Depositary. Accession
    • Article 28 Entry into force
      Entry into force

      • 28.1 Subject to the provisions of Article 29.2, this Treaty shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the deposit of the fortieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, provided that at least twenty instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession have been deposited by Members of FAO.
      • 28.2 For each Member of FAO and any State that is not a Member of FAO but is a Member of the United Nations, or any of its specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency that ratifies, accepts, approves or accedes to this Treaty after the deposit, in accordance with Article 28.1, of the fortieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the Treaty shall enter into force on the ninetieth day following the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
    • Article 29 Member Organizations of FAO

      • 29.1 When a Member Organization of FAO deposits an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession for this Treaty, the Member Organization shall, in accordance with the provisions of Article II.7 of the FAO Constitution, notify any change regarding its distribution of competence to its declaration of competence submitted under Article II.5 of the FAO Constitution as may be necessary in light of its acceptance of this Treaty. Any Contracting Party to this Treaty may, at any time, request a Member Organization of FAO that is a Contracting Party to this Treaty to provide information as to which, as between the Member Organization and its member states, is responsible for the implementation of any particular matter covered by this Treaty. The Member Organization shall provide this information within a reasonable time.
      • 29.2 Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval, accession or withdrawal, deposited by a Member Organization of FAO, shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by its Member States.
    • Article 30 Reservation
      Reservations

    • Article 31 Non-Parties
      Non-Party

      • The Contracting Parties shall encourage any Member of FAO or other State, not a Contracting Party to this Treaty, to accept this Treaty. Non-Party
    • Article 32 Withdrawals
      Withdrawal

      • 32.1 Any Contracting Party may at any time after two years from the date on which this Treaty has entered into force for it, notify the Depositary in writing of its withdrawal from this Treaty. The Depositary shall at once inform all Contracting Parties.
      • 32.2 Withdrawal shall take effect one year from the date of receipt of the notification.
    • Article 33 Termination

      • 33.1 This Treaty shall be automatically terminated if and when, as the result of withdrawals, the number of Contracting Parties drops below forty, unless the remaining Contracting Parties unanimously decide otherwise.
      • 33.2 The Depositary shall inform all remaining Contracting Parties when the number of Contracting Parties has dropped to forty.
      • 33.3 In the event of termination the disposition of assets shall be governed by the financial rules to be adopted by the Governing Body.
    • Article 34 Depository
      Depositary

      • The Director-General of FAO shall be the Depositary of this Treaty. Depositary
    • Article 35 Authentic Texts

      • The Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts of this Treaty are equally authentic.
    • Settlement of Disputes
      Settlement of Disputes

      • 22.1 In the event of a dispute between Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this Treaty, the parties concerned shall seek solutions by negotiation.
      • 22.2 If the parties concerned cannot reach agreement by negotiation, they may jointly seek the good offices of, or request mediation by, a third party.
      • 22.3 When ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to this Treaty, or at any time thereafter, a Contracting Party may declare in writing to the Depositary that for a dispute not resolved in accordance with Article 22.1 or Article 22.2 above, it accepts one or both of the following means of dispute settlement as compulsory:
      • (a) Arbitration in accordance with the procedure laid down in Part 1 of Annex II to this Treaty;
      • (b) Submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice.
      • 22.4 If the parties to the dispute have not, in accordance with Article 22.3 above, accepted the same or any procedure, the dispute shall be submitted to conciliation in accordance with Part 2 of Annex II to this Treaty unless the parties otherwise agree.