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Biodiversity, GMOs, and Privatization of the Living World

Biodiversity, GMOs, and Privatization of the Living World

Biodiversity and Global Governance

This document presents a summary of the several aspects of the political control exercised on living beings at different levels, from the local to the global level.

In the complex set of forms representing life, the genetic resources of crop plants are particularly interesting because of their strategic role in global food, but also because of the dominating economic stakes involved in the rise of biotechnology. Plant genetic resources have thus become an object of negotiation and control for very different players: rural communities, states, agricultural trade unions, non-governmental organizations, seed companies and biotechnology firms.
A vast process of privatization of living beings is under way and is tending to erode farmers' control over seeds when the autonomy of famers' management of genetic resources is a major element for food the sovereignty of rural populations and for the maintenance of biodiversity and cultural diversity.
First food-chain link, seeds constitute one of the cores of the economic and political autonomy of farmers. The production of farm seeds is of concern for millions of farmers. Yet in the system of production of industrial forming and single crops, genetic resources have a very different status, and they are the object of numerous policies of access and control that only the study of the conflicts of interest makes it possible to identify clearly.
This first attempt (an outline which requires to be refined, supplemented, specified) at analysis of these levels of governance is structured around four major stakes:
1. rules of access to genetic resources
2. conservation policies of agricultural diversity
3. the legal protection of plant innovation
4. the privatization of living beings


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Biodiversity, GMOs, and Privatization of the Living World

-GMOs: The Planet Taken Hostage
-Living Material Is Declared World Heritage
-Yaoundé Declaration; World Conference of Traditional Farmers; Camerun, May 6-11, 2002
-Documents on Food Security
-Proposal Paper: Rejecting the Privatization of Life and Proposing Alternatives
-Proposal Paper: Civil society and GMOs : What Strategies Should be Applied Internationally?
-Experience Reports

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