How policies affect the use of plant genetic resources: The experience of the CGIAR

Isabel López Noriega, Michael Halewood, Gea Galluzzi, Ronnie Vernooy, Enrico Bertacchini, Devendra Gauchan, Eric Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


There is growing recognition that sustainable intensification of agricultural production systems and their successful adaptation to changes in climate will depend upon the improved access to, and use of, genetic diversity. This paper analyzes how the collection, use and distribution of plant genetic resources by the Consortium of International Research Centers of the CGIAR are influenced by international and national policies, treaties and agreements. Some concerns exist among CGIAR scientists about continued access to, and distribution of, plant genetic resources. Study findings point to an increasing influence of international and national policies and legal frameworks on the conservation and use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) by the CGIAR centers and the dissemination of CGIAR-improved germplasm first to partners in agricultural research organizations and then to final users of new plant varieties developed through research partnerships. This situation may, in the longer term, have a serious impact on the utilization of plant genetic diversity to cope with current and predicted challenges to agricultural production and, in particular, climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-269
Number of pages39
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Access and benefit-sharing
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Partnerships
  • Plant genetic resources
  • Policies
  • Technology development and dissemination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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