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What's on the menu? Options for strengthening the policy and regulatory framework for the exchange, use and conservation of animal genetic resources1

  • S.J. Hiemstra (a1), A.G. Drucker (a2), M.W. Tvedt (a3), N. Louwaars (a1), J.K. Oldenbroek (a1), K. Awgichew (a4), S. Abegaz Kebede (a5), P.N. Bhat (a6) and A. da Silva Mariante (a7)...


This paper addresses major issues and challenges for Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) and the livestock sector, as well as options for further development of policies or regulatory approaches. Three main areas were identified, i) how we can halt the further erosion of genetic diversity and promote sustainable breeding and use, ii) whether there is a need to regulate the exchange of genetic material and iii) how to balance different systems of rights (e.g. sovereign rights of nations, intellectual property rights, communal rights or rights of livestock keepers).

To halt further erosion, complementary ex-situ and in-situ conservation approaches are needed and breeding and marketing of local breeds should be strengthened. Secondly, recognizing the importance of the exchange of AnGR, broad access and responsible and equitable exchange mechanisms should be further promoted. Thirdly, regarding intellectual property rights, there is a need to adapt the application of the patent system to the special circumstances inherent in animal breeding. Moreover, possible sui generis systems should be further explored in order to better balance different rights systems.

Rather than developing a new or adapted internationally legally binding framework, the intergovernmental process under FAO may instead wish to focus, in the first instance, on the development of voluntary instruments to strengthen national policies and the implementation of action at national levels.

Debates and developments related to international agreements in the crop sector have also tended to frame the debate for AnGR. However, before launching into a discussion on whether or not an ‘FAO Animal Treaty’ would be needed, one should first of all clarify the problems to be dealt with and regulated via an international regime.

Cet article rassemble les thèmes principaux et défis des Ressources Génétiques Animales (AnGR) et du secteur élevage, ainsi que les options disponibles pour le développement de politiques ou règlements. On a identifié trois domaines principaux:

1. Comment empêcher l'érosion de la diversité génétique et promouvoir l'utilisation et l'élevage durable.

2. Quand est-il nécessaire de réglementer les échanges de matériel génétique.

3. Xomment adapter les différents systèmes législatifs (p.e. les droits souverains au niveau national, les droits sur la propriété intellectuelle, les droits communs ou droits des éleveurs).

Pour empêche une érosion ultérieure des études complémentaires in-situ et ex-situ seront nécessaires, ainsi qu'un renforcement de la sélection et commercialisation des races locales. En deuxième lieu, et tenant compte de l'importance des échanges de AnGR, on devrait promouvoir un majeur accès et des mécanismes responsables et équitables. Pour finir, en ce qui concerne les droits de la propriété intellectuelle, il faudrait adapter l'application des systèmes de brevet aux circonstances spéciales inhérents au secteur de l'élevage animal. Cependant, on pourrait rechercher d'autres systèmes possibles sui generis afin de mieux adapter les différents systèmes législatifs. Au lieu de développer un nouveau système ou adapter un cadre légal au niveau international, le procès intergouvernemental sous la supervision de la FAO voudrait centrer le thème en principe sur le développement d'outils volontaires qui renforceraient les politiques nationales et la mise en oeuvre d'actions au niveau national. Les débats et développements en relation avec les accords internationaux dans le domaine agricole ont contribué aussi à l'encadrer dans les AnGR. Cependant avant d'initier une discussion sur l'opportunité ou moins d'établir un “Traité FAO sur les animaux” il serait nécessaire d'identifier les problèmes auxquels il faudra faire face et comment les réglementer à travers un accord international.

Este artículo recoge los temas principales y desafíos de los Recursos Zoogenéticos (AnGR) y del sector ganadero, así como las opciones para el consiguiente desarrollo de políticas o reglamentos. Se identificaron tres áreas principales:

1. Cómo impedir la erosión de la diversidad genética y promover la utilización y cría sostenible.

2. Cuando es necesario reglamentar los intercambios de material genético.

3. Cómo adaptar los distintos sistemas legales (p.e. los derechos soberanos a nivel nacional, los derechos de la propiedad intelectual, los derechos comunales o derechos de los ganaderos).

Para impedir una erosión ulterior serán necesarios estudios complementarios in-situ y ex-situ, así como un reenforzamiento de la cría y comercialización de las razas locales. En segundo lugar, teniendo en cuenta la importancia de los intercambios de AnGR, se debería promover un mayor acceso y mecanismos responsables y equitativos. Por fin, en lo relativo a los derechos de la propiedad intelectual, sería necesario adaptar la aplicación del sistemas de patentes a las circunstancias especiales inherentes al sector de la cría animal. Sin embargo, se podrían investigar ulteriores posibles sistemas sui generis con el fin de adaptar mejor los distintos sistemas legales. En vez de desarrollar un nuevo sistema o adaptar un marco legal a nivel internacional, el proceso intergubernamental bajo supervisión de la FAO desearía enfocar el tema en un principio en el desarrollo de instrumentos voluntarios que reforcen las políticas nacionales y la implementación de las acciones a nivel nacional. Los debates y desarrollos relacionados con los acuerdos internacionales en el sector agrícola también han contribuido a enmarcar el debate en el campo de AnGR. Sin embargo, antes de lanzarse en una discusión sobre la oportunidad o menos de establecer un “Tratado de la FAO sobre animales”, se deberían identificar los problemas que se encontraran y cómo reglamentarlos a través de un acuerdo internacional.



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What's on the menu? Options for strengthening the policy and regulatory framework for the exchange, use and conservation of animal genetic resources1

  • S.J. Hiemstra (a1), A.G. Drucker (a2), M.W. Tvedt (a3), N. Louwaars (a1), J.K. Oldenbroek (a1), K. Awgichew (a4), S. Abegaz Kebede (a5), P.N. Bhat (a6) and A. da Silva Mariante (a7)...


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