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ITPGR Workshop Considers Platform on Co-Development and Transfer of Agricultural Technologies

October 2012: At a workshop organized within the framework of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR), participants discussed the recommendation of the High-level round table on the Treaty to establish a platform for the co-development and transfer of technologies, within the context of non-monetary benefit-sharing under the Treaty.

The workshop followed a 21 June 2012 High-level round table convened during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The workshop recognized that the call for technology transfer is an integral component of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the ITPGR and other international instruments, and that there is an expectation from the target beneficiaries identified in such instruments that some specific action will be taken.

Participants presented and discussed the many types of technology transfer in which they are involved, and agreed that technology transfer almost always is in the context of a packet of activities, which also include not only information exchange and capacity building, but often require policy and infrastructural support.

The workshop agreed on a number of principles, including that technology should be understood in a very wide sense, and that technology transfer should aim to solve problems, not impose specific solutions. For this reason, participants said, a platform could include institutions active in technology transfer, including technical bodies and donor institutions, working together to structure technology transfer packets. The platform could provide a coordination and initiation mechanism, which could make a substantial contribution to mobilizing resources, including those of the initial proponents themselves, and to focusing technology transfer initiatives. The workshop accordingly adopted a draft mission statement, to be circulated to all ITPGR Parties. [Workshop Report]