Farmer’s Rights are currently acknowledged as a global concern, yet consensus on how to implement Farmer’s Rights remains vague. Internationally it is acknowledged to a certain extent that farmer’s are important part of the social and political fabric of society and require support. India is among the first countries in the world to have passed a legislation granting Farmer’s Rights in the form of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001 (PPVFR). India’s law is unique as it simultaneously attempts to establish the rights for breeders and farmers and also, it protects their interests.
Agriculture was introduced as a new element in to the trade discussions in the 1986 GATT Round which is popularly known as the Uruguay Round. This was mainly because farmers are an important part of the economic, social and political fabric of the society. Their role in agro- diversity conservation and innovation is acknowledged world-wide since the revised agreed interpretation under the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources.Farmers’ rights which are vital to ensure food security and sustainability have been recognized under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).
2. Historical perspective
Although Paris Convention of 1883 which is the first multilateral agreement for harmonizing IP Laws extended protection to Industrial property, the succeeding 50 years witnessed various attempts by different countries in Europe to extent IP protection to the agricultural field. The first attempt to recognize the Intellectual Property Right of a plant breeder was the enactment of the Plant Patent Act by USA in 1930 and it aims at protecting asexually propagated plants by patents. As time passed, the European Patent Convention adopted these exceptions in its Article 53 and the same language was reproduced in the TRIPS Agreement, 1995 in Article 27.3(b). Although by 1970s it was settled in developed nations that IP protection will be extended to agriculture, the developing countries agreed to it only by 1995 with the adoption of TRIPS Agreement.
3. Concerns of Extension of Intellectual Property Rights to Agriculture
It was worried that the traditional rights of the farmers to save, share, exchange and sell the farm produce as well as the seeds, and due to the monopoly extended to the plant breeders by granting IPR on plant varieties it might take away the traditional rights of the framers. Also, importantly, monopoly extended to plant breeders by granting IPR on plant varieties could also raise the price of such commodities. Above all, the contribution of the farmers in the conservation and preservation of varieties was considered important for further plant breeding. To address this, two options were considered relevant:
(i) Protecting the interests or privilege of farmers to save and repeatedly use for sowing their farm saved seed of protected varieties as an exception to the plant breeder’ right, and
(ii) Protecting the rights of the farmers in terms of getting equitable share of benefits derived from the use of plant genetic resources conserved and preserved by them.
International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) was an outcome of the agreement between five European countries to provide sui generis IP protection to plant varieties. It provided for the rights of the plant breeders and prohibited two or more types of protection to a particular plant species.
4. Need for Plant Variety Protection
New varieties of plants are developed after contributing number of years to the selective inheritance of traits which provide improved yields, higher quality, and better resistance to such plant varieties. Newer technologies of plant production need to be developed for obtaining high- performing varieties.
The tremendous progress in agricultural productivity in various parts of the world is principally based on these improved high performing plant varieties, which in turn is a critical factor in improving rural income and overall economic development. Since, the process of plant breeding is long and expensive, it is not possible to have continuous breeding efforts unless there is a chance of reward for the investment in time and labour. It is therefore, important to provide an effective protecting system of PVP, with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties of plants, for the benefit of society.
5. Differences between Patent and Plant Variety Protection
Patents and PVP are two different forms of IPR, both providing exclusive monopoly rights over the creation of a new plant variety for commercial purposes over a period of time. Whereas, patent is a right granted to an inventor to exclude all others from making, using and/or selling the patented invention for 20 years for those inventions which fulfil the patentability criteria of novelty, non- obviousness and utility; PVP provides rights to plant breeders for protecting genetic makeup of specific plant variety having novelty, distinctiveness, uniformity and stability.
6. The Concept of farmer’s rights
In 1980’s as a response to the enlarged demand for plant breeders’ rights the concept of farmer’s rights came up, to call attention to the unremunerated innovations of farmers. The fact is that, the farmers have been engaged in the informal breeding process besides conserving and preserving biological and genetic resources for time immemorial. Hence, it was deliberated that these innovations were to be recognized and rewarded like the contribution of breeders in development of the new varieties. The first mention of the farmers’ rights was made in the meeting if the Working Group of the FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, 1986 in the context of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources (IUPGR).
The 25th Session of the FAO Conference of 1989 is the landmark in the history of recognition of farmers’ right. The IUPGR observed that generations of farmers have conserved, improved and made available plant genetic resources, however, the contributions of these farmers were not sufficiently recognized or rewarded. It was felt that the farmers should benefit fully from the improved and increased use of the genetic resources that they have preserved. So, from these facts the Conference endorsed the concept of farmers’ right.
With the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992, the sovereign rights of the nation on their biological resources were recognized. The Article 8(j) of the Convention also recognized the contribution of the communities and indigenous local people in the conservation and preservation of biological resources. With that it recognized the rights of the community and indigenous people to have a fair and equitable share in the benefits arising out of the utilization of such knowledge.
7. How to protect Indian Farmer’s Rights
The Government of India formulated ‘The Plant Variety Protection and Farmers' Rights Act 2002’ under the sui generis option which was accommodating with the WTO in respect of plant breeders’ rights and gave protection to the rights of farmers beyond their right to save seeds and replant.
The Act was the first in the legislative history of India and perhaps the world to recognize the rights of the farmers as conservators, breeders and cultivators. The proposed Plant Varieties Protection Authority (PVPA), under the Act, is obliged to register new strains of plant varieties developed by the farmers alongside the professional breeders.
· Equitable Sharing of benefits
The PVPA is also required to ensure equitable benefit sharing with the farmers. This is in conformity with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which India has adopted and ratified. The preamble and Article 8(j) of the CBD calls for the member nations to encourage the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices relevant to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components.
The Article 8(j) further seems to affirm that the holders (“subject to national legislation”) have rights over their knowledge, innovations and practices, whether or not they are capable of being protected by IPRs. If they are not capable of being protected by the existing IPR system, there is still an obligation for governments to safeguard these entitlements either through a new IPR law or by other legal or policy measures. This includes the contribution of the farming community to the critical foundational knowledge of agricultural biodiversity that led to development of new plant varieties.
8. Analysis of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act, 2001
One of the most controversial agreements of the Uruguay Round is that relating to the granting of Intellectual Property Rights on biological materials embodied in the Trade Related Intellectual Article 27.3 b of the TRIPS Agreement required the member nations to grant patents on microorganisms, non/biological and microbiological processes as well as effective IPR protection for plant varieties where a choice was given to the members to choose from a sui generis system or patents or a combination of the two. India adopted the sui generis system and enacted the Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Rights Act, 2001, as the Indian sui generis legislation which is hailed as a progressive law. Apart from a well-defined breeders’ right, it has strong and proactive farmers’ rights. In fact the Indian legislation succeeds in balancing the rights of Breeders and Farmers and exploits the flexibility granted in TRIPS, in an intelligent manner. There are clauses to protect the rights of researchers and provisions to protect the public interest. Following were some of the declared advantages for developing a sui generis system for PVP in India:
(i) It allowed for superior planting material, leading to increased agricultural production.
(ii) It facilitated investment by private sector enterprises in the development of superior plant varieties and also gave a momentum to the building up of infrastructure for the seed industry.
(iii) It encouraged competition between the private and the public sector in the in the field of plant breeding effectively and efficiently in the larger national interest.
(iv) It enabled India to meet its national obligations under the international agreement on tariffs and trade. (GATT)
The sui generis system (translating roughly into self-generating) means that any system a country decides on provided it grants effective Plant Breeders’ Rights. TRIPS do not specify what kind of breeders’ rights is meant and it does not say what else a member state can include in its law, apart from breeders’ rights. In short, TRIPS is a flexible system, which leaves a lot to the discretion of its member nations. It is worth mentioning here that the Indian legislation is the first in the world to grant formal rights to farmers in a way that their self-reliance is not jeopardized. What is significant and positive about this legislation is that it plans its own development, deviating from the norms set by the Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV). UPOV at present is a platform only for protecting the breeders’ rights and is better modulated for the developed nations than for the developing ones. But India has successfully maintained a balance between breeders’ as well as farmers’ rights and has acknowledged both of them.
(A) Farmer’s Rights in Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001
Plant Variety Protection and Farmers’ Rights Act expressly provides for the farmers rights. These have been included in the legislation as a result of the determined and sustained campaign by NGOs, spearheaded by the Gene Campaign. Gene Campaign’s position right from the start was that if the status quo had to be changed and India had to grant Plant Breeders’ Rights, our legislation would have to grant a strong Farmers’ Rights at the same time. Although, it’s provided in the UPOV that farmer rights can be granted only as exceptions which are known as Farmers’ ‘privilege’ but under the Indian law, it was insisted persistently that farmers should be granted exclusive ‘rights’. Thus, farmers’ rights are the following:
i. Right to Sell Seeds: In section 39 (iv) of the chapter on Farmers’ Rights, the right to sell seed– even protected seed, has finally been provided. This right is crucial to maintaining the livelihood basis of the farming community and the nation’s self-reliance in agriculture. Denying the farmer the right to sell seed would displace the farming community as the country’s major seed provider.
ii. Permission from Farmers: Breeders wanting to use farmers’ varieties for creating Essentially Derived Varieties (EDVs) cannot do so without the express permission of the farmers.
iii. Exemption from Fees: Further protecting farmers from the new set of provisions being put in place, the new Act stipulates that if farmers wish to examine documents and papers or receive copies of rules and decisions made by the various authorities, they will be exempt from paying any fees.
iv. Disclosure: Explicit and detailed disclosure in the passport data about the parentage of the new variety is required. If concealment is detected in the passport data, the Breeders certificate stands to be cancelled.
v. Terminator Technology Forbidden: Breeders will have to submit an affidavit that their variety does not contain a Gene Use Restricting Technology (GURT) or terminator technology.
vi. Protection against Innocent Infringement: Rightly assuming that farmers may unknowingly infringe Breeders’ Rights since they will not be used to the new situation, the law provides for protection from prosecution for innocent infringement.
vii. Compensation to Farmers: A farmer/farmer’s organization can claim compensation if a variety fails to give the expected performance under given conditions. Such a claim may have to be paid by the breeder as directed by the Authority after giving due hearing to both the parties, namely the farmer and the breeder.
(B) Breeder’s Rights in Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001
Breeders’ rights over the varieties have been well sheltered in the Act. The breeders get the rights of commercialization on registration for the registered variety either in person or through anyone he designates. These rights include the right to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export a variety, in short, full control over formal marketing.
Protection for breeders
Violation of Breeders right can be construed at several levels. It applies to the variety itself as also to its packaging. Infringement will be established if the packaging is the same or even similar, such that the package could appear to be that of the Breeder. Legally, a similar looking package will be considered “Passing off" and so actionable. Anyone other than the Breeder naturally cannot use the registered name or denomination. The use of the same or similar name in any way, by action or even suggestion, will constitute a violation and will be punishable. Penalties are prescribed for applying false denomination and for selling varieties to which false denomination is applied. The Breeders Rights have been strengthened to the extent that if there is mere suspicion of violation or infringement, the onus of proving innocence is placed on the alleged violator. In any prosecution for falsely using a denomination, the burden of proof is reversed and it is incumbent on the alleged violator to prove that the consent of the Breeder was obtained. This is somewhat excessive and needs to be toned down. The normal course in law is for the accuser to furnish proof for the accusation and so it must remain in this case too.
Penalties can range from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. ten lakh as well as a jail term ranging from three months to two years, depending on the severity of the damage caused. If the violator is actually selling, offering for sale or merely in the possession of a registered variety belonging to someone else, the punishment is somewhat worse. The penalty remains the same, between Rs. 50,000 and ten lakh but the jail term applicable will not be less than six months, going up to two years. If the offence is repeated, the minimum jail term prescribed is one year, extending to three years and the fine starting at Rs. one lakh, can go up to Rs. 20 lakh.
The Indian legislation in providing a well-defined breeder’s right provides sufficient incentive for the seed industry to invest in this sector. At the same time, it is important to recognize that IPR protection does not necessarily deliver a successful product. If a variety decisively provides an advantage, it will be bought, if it does not, it will fool the farmers for a few seasons and then fail. It is also necessary to keep in mind that all IPR systems must strike a balance between the monopoly granted to the IPR holder, in this case the Plant Breeder, and the benefits to society, in this case the farmers and consumers. Since nobody concerned with public interest would want plant breeding to shift into just a few hands, it is important to maintain competition and vitality in the plant breeding sector. That is why freedom and rights for other researchers to use all genetic material, including IPR protected material, is important. An IPR system in a country should not grant such strong rights to breeders that farmers suffer and their livelihoods are threatened. On the other hand, the breeders’ innovation should be rewarded so that they continue to breed useful varieties to benefit agricultural and food security.
9. International Union for the Protection of Plant Varieties (UPOV) and India
In 1961, five European countries agreed to provide sui generis IP protection to plant varieties and formed the international Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) which provided for the rights of plant breeders, and prohibited two or more types of protection to a particular plant species. Article 5 of the UPOV Convention, 1961 provides for the protection of the interests of the farmers as against those of plant breeders. The UPOV Acts underwent three amendments in 1972, 1978 and 1991 which govern parties to the Convention.
The 1978 amendment of UPOV Act left the provision of farmers’ privilege unaltered. However, it provided for restricting plant breeders’ right on the ground of public interest to prevent adverse effect of monopoly. This provision indirectly addressed the right of farmer to the adequate availability of seeds. This aspect is also present in the UPOV Act, 1991.
The third amendment of UPOV Act, in 1991, made the farmers’ privilege optional to the member countries. This provision allows farmers to use product of the harvest of the protected variety, which they may obtain by planting on their own holdings for further propagating purposes. However, the Convention requires that the farmers’ privilege be regulated ‘within reasonable limits and subject to safeguarding of the legitimate interests of the breeder.’
Outline of the possible effect of UPOV membership on India.
It is a fact that neither of the two UPOV conventions contains operative farmers’ rights. What UPOV provides for farmer’s are not the rights, but they are mere privileges. Hence, if India were to become a member of UPOV, then it will not be able to maintain a strong farmer rights regime, which the PPVFR Act contains. That is, thereafter India will be under obligation to model its law according to the terms specified by the UPOV Convention. The Indian plant variety law contains various desirable UPOV features which India can uphold only by not becoming a member of UPOV.
Why India should not join UPOV?
Gene Campaign and several NGO’s opposes the proposed initiative of India joining UPOV, because UPOV does not address Indian needs and because its working is totally unfamiliar to the conditions of agriculture prevailing in the countries of the south. It is suggested that developing countries must create their own platform which will grant apart from Breeders Rights, also Farmers Rights and be geared to work towards food and nutritional security in our countries. There is no concept of Farmers Rights in the UPOV system; rights are granted only to the breeders which in today’s context are the seed companies.
· It is argued that UPOV system is not suitable for developing countries including India as it aims to protect the interests of powerful seed companies who are the breeders. The rights in UPOV are totally granted to the breeder, but not to the farmers and Indian scenario are not at all suitable for the same. In India, corporate plant breeders are not present. The major seed producers are farmers and farmers’ cooperatives. Logically, our law will have to concentrate on protecting the interests of the farmer in his role as producer as well as consumer of seed.
· Once India adopts the system, the country will be enforced to move according to the track that UPOV provides, which as a system based on absolute patents. It permits dual protection of varieties, in the UPOV system, the same variety can be protected by Plant Breeders Right (PBR) and patents. Starting with its first amendment in 1978 when limited restrictions were placed on protected seed, the 1991 amendment brought in very strong protection for the plant breeder. In this version, breeders are not exempt from royalty payments for breeding work and the exemption for farmers to save seed has become provisional.
· UPOV laws are formulated by countries which are industrial, not agricultural economies. These developed countries have rich farming community which constitutes from 1 to 5% of the population.
· UPOV laws are framed in countries with a completely different agriculture profile to ours. These are countries where subsidy to agriculture is of a very high order unlike India.
· In the industrialized nation’s agriculture is a purely commercial activity. For the majority of Indian farmers however, it is a livelihood. These farmers are the very people who have nurtured and conserved genetic resources. So it is important to protect the rights of Indian farmers and these rights must be stated unambiguously in our sui generis legislation.
· Mostly all agricultural research and plant breeding in India is financed with the taxpayers’ money. It is conducted in public institutions like agricultural universities and institutions of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). This research belongs to the public. The laws of UPOV on the other hand are formulated by societies where seed research is conducted more in the private domain than in public institutions; where big money is put into breeding using recombinant DNA technology which is expensive. Because they invest in expensive breeding methods and need to secure returns on their investments, seed companies in Europe seek market control through strong IPRS. These conditions do not apply in India.
Compared to the present Indian scenario the UPOV system is far too expensive. The expenditure of testing, approval and acquiring an UPOV authorized Breeders Right certificate could be in thousands, even lakh. These rates will definitely disqualify the participation of all small scale farmers.
10. Plant breeder’s Rights under UPOV
Article 14(1) of the UPOV Convention – Scope of Breeder’s Right
Subject to the exceptions and exhaustions in Articles 15 and 16 of the UPOV Convention, the following acts in respect of the propagating material, needs the authorization of the breeder.
(i) production or reproduction (multiplication),
(ii) conditioning for the purpose of propagation,
(iii) offering for sale,
(iv) selling or other marketing,
(vii) Stocking for any of the purposes mentioned in (i) to (vi), above.
· The Effect of Plant Breeders’ Rights
The UPOV Convention sets out a minimum scope of protection and offers members the possibility of taking national or regional circumstances into account in their legislation.
The UPOV Convention defines acts concerning propagating material in relation to which the holder’s authorization is required. Exceptionally, but only where the holder has had no reasonable opportunity to exercise his right in relation to the propagating material, his authorization may be required in relation to any of the specified acts done with harvested material of the variety.
Like all intellectual property rights, plant breeders’ rights are granted for a limited period of time, at the end of which varieties protected by them pass into the public domain. The rights are also subject to controls, in the public interest, against any possible abuse.
It is also important to note that the authorization of the holder of a plant breeder’s right is not required for the use of their variety for private and non-commercial purposes, for research purposes, nor for use in the breeding of further new varieties.
11. The Seed Bill 2010
The Seed Bill 2010 has kept farmers out of its purview. Accepting the recommendation of the Standing Committee, the Seed Bill 2010 clearly states that it will not restrict the right of the farmer to grow, sow, re-sow, save, exchange, share or sell his farm seeds and planting material except when they are into the business of selling branded seeds. At the same time it has also expanded the definition of a ‘farmer’ to include all those who conserve or preserve, severally or jointly with any person, any traditional varieties or adds value to such traditional varieties through selection and identification of their useful properties.
Since the Seed Bill 2010 focuses exclusively on the commercial production, sale and distribution of good quality seeds by seed companies and the public sector agencies, and the farmers as well as the informal seed saving and cultivation system is outside its ambit, following suggestions are being made to provide more teeth to the legal process so as to curb the malpractices in the seed business.
1. The Seed Bill 2010 has very rightly excluded farmers, who constitute the major proportion of seed handlers and users, from its purview. Therefore to dismiss any confusion and ambiguity about its objective and role, the proposed Seed Bill 2010 should be called the Commercial Seed (Regulation) Bill, 2010.
2. The Seed Bill 2010 in its present form appears to be merely an extension of the previous efforts to control and regulate the seed trade. The proposed amendments once again favour private seed companies and corporations at the expense of farmers. Over the years, sale of spurious and sub-standard seeds has grown, and in the absence of any price controls, farmers are not only being cheated but are increasingly being burdened with rising cost of cultivation thereby rendering farming unremunerated.
12. The Seed Bill 2011
Seed Bill in its latest amended shape clearly states that it will not “restrict the right of the farmer to grow, sow, re-sow, save, use, exchange, share or sell his farm seeds or planting material,” and it also specifies that the farmer is not to be included under the ambit of ‘producer.’ But it does restrict the farmer from selling such seeds or material under a brand name.
The Bill now defines the farmer as a cultivator of crops and also as “the person who conserves or preserves, severally or jointly with any person, any traditional varieties or adds values to such traditional varieties through selection and identification of their useful properties.”
These amendments are, however, inadequate to protect the full traditional rights of farmers as cultivators, conservers, and breeders of new seed varieties. The Seed Bill must protect the rights of farmers to grow, breed, select, sow, re-sow, save, use, exchange, share, distribute or sell all varieties of seeds.
The present Seed Bill has no provisions for price controls and fixing of royalty, nor for ensuring supply of seeds. The Seed Bill must provide for stringent regulation of prices and royalty, as well as supply.
The Bill provides for compulsory registration and certification for all commercially traded seeds (barring farmer varieties). The Bill provides for registration for 10 years for annual and biennial seeds, and 12 years for long duration perennials. It also allows for re-registration. Effectively, therefore, it allows commercial marketing of registered seeds for 20 years for annual/biennial varieties and 24 years for perennials. This paves the way for seed monopolies by a back door route.
UPOV style new plant variety protection may provide a limited scope of protection recognizing only value-addition in new varieties, and is oriented towards advanced breeders. Therefore India has adopted a mid-way by recognizing the rights of the breeders as well as the farmers. Thus, India has tried through its enactment not to upset the global legal order while preserving the nation’s interest.
The Act is the first of its kind which included provisions for protecting the rights of the farmers. However, it can’t said to be very effective because there is no obligation on the part of breeders, to take prior consent of farmers whose genetic material or knowledge they may be using for commercializing their varieties. There is also no compulsory benefit-sharing requirement between breeders and such farmers. Both these omissions are a violation of India’s commitment under Article 8j and 10c of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Regarding Traditional Knowledge, although provisions like benefit sharing have been included in the Act, yet there is a further need to have a separate legislation for affording protection to this segment of the society. Considering the fact that there is already substantial use of traditional knowledge by industries, provisions must be included to safeguard the business interest of the persons already in use of traditional knowledge. Remedies, both in Civil and Criminal law must be employed to prevent unauthorized use of traditional knowledge for commercial exploitation.
India could have actually gone in for a truly independent legislation. One that actually promotes comprehensive farmers’ rights, including full protection of their knowledge and agro-diversity and sensitive to the ethical issues involved in commercializing life forms. The law should encourage public and private sector crop breeding within an overall framework of social justice and ecological sustainability.
# Farmer’s Rights, Resolution No 5/89 adopted by FAO Conference, 25th Session. Rome, 11-20 November 1989.
# CPGR/87/3, Report of the Working Group of the FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, 2-3 June 1986.
# Art 27. (3). Members may also exclude from patentability:
(b) Plants and animals other than micro-organisms, and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals other than non-biological and microbiological processes. However, Members shall provide for the protection of plant varieties either by patents or by an effective sui generis system or by any combination thereof. The provisions of this subparagraph shall be reviewed four years after the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement.
# IPR Protection in Agriculture: An Overview- Mohan Dewan (Journal of Intellectual Property Rights) Vol 16, March 2011, pp 135
# S. 28. (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a certificate of registration for a variety issued under this Act shall confer an exclusive right on the breeder or his successor, his agent or licensee, to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the variety :
# Provided that in the case of an extant variety, unless a breeder or his successor established his right, the Central Government, and in cases where such extant variety is notified for a State or for any area thereof under section 5 of the Seed Act, 1966, the State Government, shall be deemed to be the owner of such right.
(2) A breeder may authorize any person to produce, sell, market or otherwise deal with the variety registered under this Act subject to such limitations and conditions as may be specified by regulations.
# S. 70,S.71,S.72
# The Countries, which joined UPOV before 1999, could opt to govern by the 1978 Act, but countries joining now shall be governed by 1991 Act.
# Sahai Suman, “Protection of plant varieties: UPOV should not be our model” 2788, Economic and Political Weekly, (1996)
# Article 14 (2) and (3) of UPOV Convention
# Each contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate:
# Subject to national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge innovations and practices.
# Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate:
(a) Integrate consideration of the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources into national decision-making;
(b) Adopt measures relating to the use of biological resources to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on biological diversity;
(c) Protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements;
(d) Support local populations to develop and implement remedial action in degraded areas where biological diversity has been reduced; and
(e) Encourage cooperation between its governmental authorities and its private sector in developing methods for sustainable use of biological resources.
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