Berne Declaration: UPOV report on the impact of plant variety protection - A critique

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

In June 2014, Berne Declaration, a Swiss civil society organisation published a critique of UPOV's assessment of the impact of adopting PVP laws based on UPOV 1978 and 1991. UPOV's Report on the Impact of Plant Variety Protection published in 2005 is often used by UPOV in support of introducing plant variety protection based on UPOV 1991.

In its critique, the Berne Declaration critically analyses the methodology of the UPOV’s impact assessment by pointing out its underlying assumptions, discussing the defined scope, the chosen indicators and the missing counterfactual. It concludes "that the impact study made by UPOV does not fulfil certain basic requirements. It leaves unanswered the question whether the UPOV Conventions do or do not have positive impacts – in a broader sense – on the countries that have adopted them.

The UPOV report used narrowly drafted indicators, without taking into account key issues like food security, agro-biodiversity, availability of seeds for small farmers, or defining what “for the benefit of society” is supposed to mean. Therefore, it does not provide a reliable basis for decision-making for countries that may be considering joining UPOV 1991".

 Berne Declaration: UPOV report on the impact of plant variety protection - A critique