29 Jun 2011
Rights to Animal Genetic Resources – basic facts and debates
NCCR Trade Regulation Working Paper No 2011/67 by Susette Biber-Klemm and Michelangelo Temmerman
At the background of the inquiry into the creation of rights to animal genetic resources lie different strands of thinking and various lines of arguments. These are fueled by three major developments in the AnGR sector: the increasing volume in trade in animal products; the scientific progress in animal breeding with the advances in genetic engineering; and the so-called erosion of animal genetic resources.
This paper discusses the interface of AnGRFA, international trade and property rights and gives an overview of the ongoing processes, the present debates and involved institutions. It concludes that in order to balance the increasing enclosure of innovation in AnGRFA, an appropriate set of measures is needed to conserve, maintain and sustainably use diversity in AnGRFA and to promote equitable and fair market access for smallhoers from the South. It is therefore proposed to set out from a “toolbox approach”, the task being to find an ideal combination of tools to serve the defined end.