Disclosure of Origin and Certificates of Origin: The Implications for CGIAR Centers of Compliance Mechanisms in the Nagoya Protocol and WIPO Intergovernmental Committee Draft Articles on Genetic Resources

16 July 2014, CGIAR Master Class, Brendan Tobin

Proposals to use intellectual property rights regimes as a means for enforcing rights over genetic resources and traditional knowledge first emerged in 1994. Twenty years on 50 countries have reportedly adopted some form of biodiversity related disclosure system and legislation on disclosure is in force in at least 18 countries. The Andean community has had disclosure obligations in place for over a decade and negotiations for an international disclosure regime are advancing at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Inter-governmental Committee on Intellectual Property Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore. Proposals for disclosure have been closely linked to the development of certificate of origin systems, such as that implemented in Costa Rica and Australia and now a central feature of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing.

This master class discussed the significance for CGIAR centers of existing law and policy on disclosure of origin and certificates of origin. It also examined and sought to promote discussion of the implications of laws to implement the Nagoya Protocol in Europe and the negotiations at WIPO for the strengthening of obligations on disclosure and certification of resources as they pass through the CGIAR system. This master class encouraged an exchange of views on the challenges and opportunities disclosure and certification signify for the long-term maintenance of CGIAR collections. Participants were asked in advance to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of disclosure and certification regimes for the management of collections and the dissemination of seed in accordance with the centers' respective mandates.


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