Report of the Tenth Meeting of the CGIAR Genetic Resources Policy Committee
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Report of the tenth meeting of the CGIAR Genetic Resources Policy Committee (GRPC), held at IPGRI headquarters in Rome, March 1-3, 2000, M.S. Swaminathan presiding. The Committee reviewed the CGIAR's and IPGRI's stake and role in the ongoing renegotiation of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, and in promoting the hoped-for development of a Multilateral System of Facilitated Access and Benefit Sharing. The GRPC urged members to work for conclusion of the negotiations, considered to be critical to the ability of the CGIAR to achieve its objectives.It also considered the dangers to this development represented by national legislation being considered in some 50 countries, which would establish a bilateral, transaction-based approach that would inhibit exchange of agricultural germplasm and restrict access to biodiversity.The Committee reviewed the status of the implementation of material transfer agreements (MTA), urging Centers to hasten the completion of the agreed procedures for updating and publicizing their lists of germplasm designated to be provided to FAO. It heard a report of the Systemwide Genetic Resources Program (SGRP) on the development of a new MTA covering non-plant genetic resources, and considered a funding plan for upgrading Center genebanks. Additional reports described progress in establishing the new Central Advisory Service on Intellectual Property Rights at ISNAR, a planned GFAR initiative on agricultural biodiversity and the role of NARS in the emerging multilateral system. Updates on developments in international fora included the Cartegena Protocol on biosafety and genetically modified organisms; TRIPS and the Agreement on Agriculture in the WTO; WIPO; and UPOV. Efforts of IPGRI and the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation relating to underutilized and neglected crops were also reviewed. Agenda document, CGIAR Mid Term Meeting 2000.