Knowledge for Development

S&T Organisations / Web resources

This dossier contains over 225 annotated links to information on intellectual property (IP) in ACP agriculture. The various folders of this dossier provide links to the texts (and clarifications) of these international agreements, to collaborative (agricultural) research partnerships and to the many organizations that provide assistance in many aspects of IP that affect the ownership of the products of agricultural research, the rights of farmers and their communities, and the conservation of the world's plant genetic resources. The dossier has been researched and compiled by Valerie Jones of Contactivity bv, Leiden, the Netherlands (July 2004).

New legal instrument on genetic resources

The Nagoya Protocol was adopted on 29 October 2010 and builds on the Convention on Biological Diversity. It will provide greater legal certainty and transparency for providers and users of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge by facilitating both access to the resources and support for fair and equitable sharing of benefits with the provider country and indigenous and local communities. The Nagoya Protocol enters into force 90 days after the deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession which must be submitted no later than 10 July 2012. Specific obligations to support compliance with contractual obligations reflected in mutually agreed terms are a significant innovation of the Nagoya Protocol. The compliance provisions as well as the provisions enabling more predictable conditions for access to genetic resources leave a Party providing genetic resources. The expected result is that the Protocol will create incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development. The Conference of the Parties and the United Nations Assembly have called upon the Convention’s 193 Parties to sign the Protocol.


Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors (PIIPA)

PIIPA was the first and is the global leader in providing pro bono IP services to developing countries. Despite the growing debate about the complex global role of intellectual property over the past decade, and the diversity of policy initiatives and academic studies spawned by (and contributing to) this debate, little has been done to meet the practical demands of developing countries and public interest organizations for access to intellectual property expertise on a case-by-case basis.PIIPA was established as an independent international service and referral organization that can help fill the need for assistance by making the know-how of intellectual property professionals available to developing countries. PIIPA’s services are practical, not policy-oriented.PIIPA’s goal is to provide balance and information that may help harness the power of informed debate to solve problems, and combat the fear and ignorance that make solutions impossible and lead to protracted disputes. PIIPA’s beneficiaries are finding new ways to solve problems in such contentious and difficult fields as traditional knowledge, biodiversity, health, and agriculture.


African Centre for Biosafety (ACB)

The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) is a non-profit organisation, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It provides authoritative, credible, relevant and current information, research and policy analysis in issues pertaining to genetic engineering, biosafety and biopiracy in Africa. The website contains a wealth of biosafety information for South Africa and Africa. Navigate your way through Biosafety case by case assessments, the emerging fields of agrofuels and biopiracy.ACB is supported by EED, HIVOS, SWEDBIO, NORAD and is a member of the Third World Network and other networks in Africa.


Specialty Crops for Pacific Island Agroforestry

This project promotes high quality food, fiber, and healthcare crops grown in diverse agroforestry systems to provide family farms both subsistence and commercial opportunities. Specialty crops provide a rapidly growing economic opportunity for farmers and gardeners who are interested in diversifying their crops and who are willing to innovate their production methods, post-harvest processing, and marketing. Farm and Forest Production and Marketing (FFPM) profiles for 32 crops detail essential information for crop development: horticulture and botany; the roles for each crop in mixed-species agroforestry; nutrition and food security; commercial products, product quality standards; location and size of markets; post-harvest processing; opportunities for local value-added processing; and the potential for genetic improvement.The project supports: integrating trees and crops (agroforestry) commercial and non-commercial plantings of all sizes, including homegardens small-scale commercial operations suitable for small lots local food production for happier and healthier communities traditional crops community food self-reliance. Project outcomes include increased adoption of specialty crops, micro-enterprise development, local food production, and sustainable multi-crop agroforestry systems, thereby supporting economic and ecological viability of our communities.


Agriculture, food, and water nanotechnologies for the Poor: Opportunities and constraints

Guillaume Gruère, Clare Narrod, and Linda Abbott, IFPRI Policy Brief 19, June 2011 This policy brief by IFPRI presents a review of the potential opportunities and challenges of using nanotech applications for agriculture, food, and water in developing countries.Little research has targeted developing-country needs and, in particular, the needs of the poor, which has created critical gaps in the scientific understanding of ways to improve the situation of the poor (both as producers and as consumers). Public scientists working in this area have kept a relatively narrow focus on certain applications and may not be aware of the needs of the poor and how to ensure uptake in a developing-country situation.


POL-SABINA : Policy and support actions for Southern African natural product partnership

The Policy and Support Actions for Southern African Natural Product Partnership (POL-SABINA) is funded through the European Union Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (EU-ACP) programme. The project will develop a ‘Virtual Research Environment’ for SABINA; provide training courses and workshops on a number of topics such as project management and fund management. It will address intellectual property management in the SADC region. SABINA (Southern African Biochemistry and Informatics for Natural Products) is funded by the Carnegie Corporation as a regional initiative in science and education. The programme aims to grow human capacity in natural products research through training of PhD and MSc students in the partner institutions.


Access to Research for Development and Innovation (ARDI)

The Access to Research for Development and Innovation (ARDI) programme is coordinated by the World Intellectual Property Organization together with its partners in the publishing industry with the aim to increase the availability of scientific and technical information in developing countries. By improving access to scholarly literature from diverse fields of science and technology, the ARDI programme seeks to: (1) reinforce the capacity of developing countries to participate in the global knowledge economy; and (2) support researchers in developing countries in creating and developing new solutions to technical challenges faced on a local and global level. Currently, 12 publishers provide access to over 200 journals for 107 developing countries through the ARDI programme.


Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property Programme at the ICTSD

The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable development (ICTSD) Programme on Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property promotes the use and management of knowledge and technology conducive to sustainable development, in the context of balanced and development oriented IP regimes. Programmatic activities focus on facilitating pro-development and pro-competitive outcomes in international trade and IP related negotiations; helping to implement IP norms that balance private rights and public interests; maximizing incentives for innovation, creativity and technology transfer to developing countries; and promoting greater integration between IP, technology transfer, foreign direct investment and competition policies.


Guide to good practices for university open-access policies

The Harvard Open Access (OA) Project has released version 1.0 (10/2012) of a guide to good practices for university open-access policies. The guide is based on policies adopted at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and several other institutions around the world. It includes recommendations that should be useful to institutions using other approaches and those that are interested in considering implementing an OA policy.(Harvard University, 17/10/2012)


Africa Lead Short Course Database: e-Learning food security

The Africa Lead database features an extensive listing of upcoming training courses and open education resources from around the world related to food security issues in Africa. It is relevant for government officials, farm leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and policy leaders in agriculture. It is a collaborative project between OER Africa, an initiative of the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE), the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and the Africa Leadership Training and Capacity Building Program (Africa Lead). The database will ensure the widespread dissemination and usage of some of the courses offered by Africa’s and America’s agricultural institutions. and  (e-agriculture, 15/01/2013) 


International agreements

This folder lists the major international agreements that govern intellectual property rights in relation to agriculture and plant genetic resources.


Collaborative Research

This folder highlights collaborative research programmes and projects which address IP management issues in research partneships.


IP in Africa

This folder highlights African organizations, private sector initiatives and collaborative partnerships that are addressing various aspects of intellectual property rights in relation to agriculture and genetic resources.


IP in the Caribbean

This folder highlights organizations, private sector initiatives and collaborative partnerships in the Caribbean that are addressing various aspects of intellectual property rights in relation to agriculture and genetic resources.


IP in the Pacific

This folder highlights organizations, private sector initiatives and collaborative partnerships in the Pacific that are addressing various aspects of intellectual property rights in relation to agriculture and genetic resources.


IP in Europe

This folder highlights the efforts of the European Commission and other European institution to address various aspects of intellectual property rights in relation to agriculture and genetic resources in ACP countries.


IP Worldwide

This folder highlights the work of international organizations, development agencies, NGOs, universities, etc., that are addressing various aspects of intellectual property in relation to agriculture and genetic resources in developing countries.


IP and Patents

This folder lists organizations, legal firms, etc., that offer information, web resources and other forms of assistance in the area of patents and patent law.


IP Library

This folder lists recent books, articles and reports published worldwide dealing with the various aspects of intellectual property, agriculture and development.


IP Case Studies

This folder highlights recent cases illustrating the success (or otherwise) of international agreements that aim to ensure that developing countries have access to and share the benefits of their genetic resources.