To understand the negotiations that resulted in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), it is necessary to understand the growing economic and social importance of these resources throughout the twentieth century, the historical framework of the negotiations, and the scientific and political climate in which they developed.1 Consequently, this chapter will discuss these factors over the various phases of the political debate that began in 1979. In a certain sense, the history of the exchange of genetic resources is the history of mankind. The struggle for access to useful plants for agriculture and food originating from other places has been one of mankind’s main motivations to travel since early times and has not only frequently led to encounters and alliances but also to conflicts and war between different cultures (Esquinas-Alcázar, 2005; Harlan, 1992; Parry, 1978; Vasey, 1992; Zohari, 2000). The history of the Treaty reflects these efforts to access and control genetic resources as well as concern for the future of mankind. The Treaty is a result of a long historical negotiation process that underwent technical, financial, political, institutional and economic phases (Cooper, 2002, 2; Kate and Lasen, 1997, 284–86; Mekour, 2002, 3–5; Rose, 2003). This chapter will illustrate the most salient features of this long process.
|Title of host publication||Crop Genetic Resources as a Global Commons: Challenges in International Law and Governance|
|Editors||Michael Halewood, Isabel Lopez Noriega, Selim Louafi|
|Place of Publication||Oxon|
|ISBN (Print)||9781844078929, 9781844078936|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Nov 2012|