The entry into force of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture marks a very important milestone in international management and governance of biological diversity. It represents the commitment of the world community to a new kind of international synergy – a freestanding convention directed at addressing, in combination, global needs for food security, and internationally agreed objectives regarding the concepts of ‘access and benefit-sharing’ found in the Convention on Biological Diversity. As such, this Treaty contributes to improving human livelihoods, preventing hunger and conserving biological diversity.

This Guide is the sixth in a series of Guides to the implementation of particular international instruments and concepts. Its objective is to promote greater understanding of the Treaty's text and possible implications – to explain the text and some of the scientific, technical and legal issues upon which it is founded. Unlike previous Guides, due to unexpected loss of critical funding, this Guide was not able to utilise expert workshops as a mechanism to ensure its impartiality, but has been fortunate to have received significant direct contributions and comments from a large group of international experts.

IUCN's Environmental Law Centre and the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) are proud to have sponsored the creation, publication, and circulation of this Guide and hope that it will be useful to those involved with implementing the Treaty.

We are very grateful to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ) and to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), for financial contributions which, in combination with other funds from IUCN, have made the publication of this Guide possible.

Alejandro Iza
Director, IUCN Environmental Law Centre

Emile Frison
Director General, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute

< previous section  < index >  next section >