An international treaty on the conservation of biodiversity in agriculture will be the first such to become law in June after more than 40 countries ratified it late last month. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture will promote national and international laws for the conservation and sustainable use of the many varieties of the world's crops, as well as equitable distribution of benefits from seed use.

In return, participating nations should profit from enhanced access to genetic resources and exchange of information, transfer of technology, and growth of scientific and technological capacity in plant breeding and biotechnology, according to treaty organizers.

“The purpose here is to facilitate access to genetic resources for breeding and research. In my opinion, scientists may be the main beneficiaries of the treaty,” José Esquinas-Alcázar, secretary of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s Commission on Genetic Resources for Food...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?