Trade deals pushing UPOV: an interactive map

Which countries use free trade deals to push corporate control over seeds? Which countries are under attack from these deals?
In the early 1990s, through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), seed corporations successfully lobbied governments to give up sovereignty over their seeds and give in to the system of intellectual property rights on plant varieties. This process resulted in the strengthening of UPOV, the hitherto little-known common regime set up by a small group of European countries, aimed at privatising seeds and protecting them in the interest of its plant breeders. Today, the push to join UPOV, or to at least follow its rules known as UPOV 91, is raging under the auspices of various trade negotiations negotiated outside the WTO.
Free trade agreements (FTAs) have become the tool of choice for industrialised countries, working with corporate lobbies, to push governments of the global South to adopt new rules that restrict farmers’ from saving, exchanging and breeding seeds. Everyday practices that have sustained farmers and agriculture for generations have now become criminalised across many parts of the world.
A new map based on GRAIN’s dataset of signed FTAs in the past 20 years can help visualise which countries use free trade deals to push corporate control over seeds and which countries are under attack from these trade deals. On UPOV’s 60th anniversary, 2 December 2021, we want to say STOP UPOV! Find out below how, during a week of action, you can support groups from across the world reinforce the resistance to seed laws and expose the role of free trade in threatening the millennial work of farmers.
Global Week of Action against UPOV 2-8 December:

1. Join or organise training sessions, discussions and debates about UPOV and seed laws in your communities/countries:

2. Resources to check out: UPOV the great seed robbery; how UPOV is misleading developing countries; UPOV animation

3. Sign-on to the call of a Global Week of Action against UPOV here

4. Raise awareness, put pressure on your government and take action in your farm and community to prioritize food sovereignty and farmers’ seeds in public policies. Use the hashtags #STOPUPOV #UPOV

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