WILL INDIA PROTECT TRIBAL BIODIVERSITY RIGHTS?

The discovery of anti-malarian activity in a plant used by the Onge tribe for medicinal purposes may lead to its expropriation unless India's government takes immediate measures.

The discovery of anti-malarian activity in a plant used by the Onge tribe for medicinal purposes may lead to its expropriation unless India's government takes immediate measures.

GENETIC RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET

Since the Internet is also providing information in the area of plant genetic resources, Seedling will be including a regular part on the Internet in our section "Resources & Documentation".

Since the Internet is also providing information in the area of plant genetic resources, Seedling will be including a regular part on the Internet in our section "Resources & Documentation".

TOWARDS A BIODIVERSITY COMMUNITY RIGHTS REGIME

As an alternative to Northern-style IPRs, GRAIN argues for a local community rights regime based on Heritage, Territoriality and Communality, which would be constructed into both the Biodiversity Convention and the FAO Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources.

As an alternative to Northern-style IPRs, GRAIN argues for a local community rights regime based on Heritage, Territoriality and Communality, which would be constructed into both the Biodiversity Convention and the FAO Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources.

THE POTATO BLIGHT IS BACK

The late potato blight, P. infestans, which was responsible for the Great Irish Famine last century, is back in a deadlier form and many fear that the short-sightness of breeders and governments may jeopardise the food security of the millions of Third World families for whom potatoes are an important staple crop.

The late potato blight, P. infestans, which was responsible for the Great Irish Famine last century, is back in a deadlier form and many fear that the short-sightness of breeders and governments may jeopardise the food security of the millions of Third World families for whom potatoes are an important staple crop.

THE HIDDEN HARVEST

Until recently ignored by contemporary agricultural research, most of the world's rural population benefits from a "Hidden Harvest" of wild foods that constitutes an important nutritional and income source, and often makes the difference for survival in famine situations.

Until recently ignored by contemporary agricultural research, most of the world's rural population benefits from a "Hidden Harvest" of wild foods that constitutes an important nutritional and income source, and often makes the difference for survival in famine situations.

FISHING OUT AQUATIC DIVERSITY

The industrialisation of fishing puts ever-growing pressure on marine ecosystems and the diversity they contain, and small-scale fishing communities and the poor are paying the price. Civil society must gain democratic control over these resources.

The industrialisation of fishing puts ever-growing pressure on marine ecosystems and the diversity they contain, and small-scale fishing communities and the poor are paying the price. Civil society must gain democratic control over these resources.

SWISS PLANT VARIETY PATENT REVOKED

A Swiss herb growers group has won an important court case: in a landmark decision that tested new policies to allow patenting of plants as such, the Federal Supreme Court decided that a camomile variety may not be patented.

A Swiss herb growers group has won an important court case: in a landmark decision that tested new policies to allow patenting of plants as such, the Federal Supreme Court decided that a camomile variety may not be patented.

DIVERSITY, A FEMININE NOUN

The diversity of agricultural systems is a fundamental step in fighting rural hunger and conserving genetic resources, and farm women are key players in any such strategy, according to field studies in Brazil.

The diversity of agricultural systems is a fundamental step in fighting rural hunger and conserving genetic resources, and farm women are key players in any such strategy, according to field studies in Brazil.

EDITORIAL

A viewpoint on the European Parliament's historic rejection of the life patenting directive last 1 March.

A viewpoint on the European Parliament's historic rejection of the life patenting directive last 1 March.

THE DIRECTIVE IS DEAD

The European Parliament stopped a law proposal that would have made life patenting possible in Europe. We look at the background, the history and the implications.

The European Parliament stopped a law proposal that would have made life patenting possible in Europe. We look at the background, the history and the implications.

BIODIVERSITY SELL-OUT IN THE ANDEAN PACT?

Some Andean Pact countries seem to be willing to hand over their biodiversity cheaply. Others are arguing for more control over access. NGOs fight for rights to local and indigenous communities.

Some Andean Pact countries seem to be willing to hand over their biodiversity cheaply. Others are arguing for more control over access. NGOs fight for rights to local and indigenous communities.

THE GREEN REVOLUTION IN THE RED

The IARCs are in a financial and institutional crisis and a meeting was called to relaunch the system, with little success. NGOs call for a consultation process.

The IARCs are in a financial and institutional crisis and a meeting was called to relaunch the system, with little success. NGOs call for a consultation process.

TOWARDS INDIGENOUS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS?

In a world where free trade has become the official development buzzword, indigenous peoples are faced with enormous pressures to commercialise their traditional resources and knowledge, now that genetic resources have become the new building blocks of biotechnology. How can they gain control over the conservation and use of those resources in an legal environment essentially hostile to their cosmovision? Marcus Colchester, Director of the Forest Peoples Programme of the World Rainforest Movement, addresses some of these issues in the following article, prepared as a background paper for a brainstorming meeting on Community Rights and Biodiversity, hosted by GRAIN in Montezillon, Switzerland, 17-18 October 1994.

In a world where free trade has become the official development buzzword, indigenous peoples are faced with enormous pressures to commercialise their traditional resources and knowledge, now that genetic resources have become the new building blocks of biotechnology. How can they gain control over the conservation and use of those resources in an legal environment essentially hostile to their cosmovision? Marcus Colchester, Director of the Forest Peoples Programme of the World Rainforest Movement, addresses some of these issues in the following article, prepared as a background paper for a brainstorming meeting on Community Rights and Biodiversity, hosted by GRAIN in Montezillon, Switzerland, 17-18 October 1994.

THREATS FROM THE TEST TUBES

Whereas by now most industrialised countries have adopted regulations concerning the safe handling and use of genetically engineered organisms, most developing countries still lack any regulations in this field. This imbalance is already stimulating companies to test their biotechnology products in the South, rather than in the North. Faced with many examples of such testing, there is a clear need for a binding regulatory mechanism to rule the testing, release and trade of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This article draws from a position paper prepared for the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Convention on Biological Diversity by the CEAT (European Coordination Friends of the Earth) Clearinghouse on Biotechnology and GRAIN.

Whereas by now most industrialised countries have adopted regulations concerning the safe handling and use of genetically engineered organisms, most developing countries still lack any regulations in this field. This imbalance is already stimulating companies to test their biotechnology products in the South, rather than in the North. Faced with many examples of such testing, there is a clear need for a binding regulatory mechanism to rule the testing, release and trade of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This article draws from a position paper prepared for the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Convention on Biological Diversity by the CEAT (European Coordination Friends of the Earth) Clearinghouse on Biotechnology and GRAIN.

BRINGING FARMER & NON-FARMER BREEDERS TOGETHER

In January of 1993, after many months of exchanging ideas and proposals, a group of governmental and non-governmental organisations from Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe decided to develop an ambitious programme to work on the conservation and development of genetic resources at the community level, under the name of Community Biodiversity Development and Conservation Programme (CBDC). This initiative, which received financial support from some major Northern donors, is now ready to take off for a four-year first phase. Camila Montecinos from CET (Centro de Educación y Tecnología, Chile), who functions as the global coordinator for this programme, explains the ideas behind this important initiative.

In January of 1993, after many months of exchanging ideas and proposals, a group of governmental and non-governmental organisations from Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe decided to develop an ambitious programme to work on the conservation and development of genetic resources at the community level, under the name of Community Biodiversity Development and Conservation Programme (CBDC). This initiative, which received financial support from some major Northern donors, is now ready to take off for a four-year first phase. Camila Montecinos from CET (Centro de Educación y Tecnología, Chile), who functions as the global coordinator for this programme, explains the ideas behind this important initiative.