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Malaysia's implementation of the multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing

   

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture is the first international, legally-binding agreement promoting the sustainable use and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and the sharing of benefits derived from their use. As such, it represents a breakthrough in the international community’s understanding of the importance of plant genetic resources and the need for countries to work together to make sure those resources are not lost or used unfairly.

 

A paper published by Bioversity International and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute focuses on the issues related to Malaysia’s implementation of the multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing. “It is source of information for policymakers, academics and researchers who are involved in the implementation of the multilateral system in other countries,” says Michael Halewood, Policy Theme Leader at Bioversity International.

 

The paper suggests a three-stage approach to addressing these issues. First, it establishes a process for ascertaining which of Malaysia’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are under government management and control. Second, the paper examines existing laws to ascertain whether they include provisions for implementing the multilateral system. Finally, the study examines a national law on access and benefit-sharing in accordance to the Convention on Biological Diversity and provides recommendations on the creation of a legal and policy space for implementing the multilateral system.

 

The publication also provides updated information related to Malaysian agriculture and plant genetic diversity, conservation, research and use, origin of germplasm, regional and international collaboration and legal and policy frameworks.

 

 

Photo: Seeds collected from the wild - Credit: Bioversity International/ D. Hunter