Seed & Plant Exchange

Cautions regarding design of material transfer agreements

If implemented as a general policy, Material Transfer Agreements should be very carefully thought out. Many MTAs that are in use (though certainly not all) are tantamount to claims of intellectual property rights by gardens on the germplasm in their possession (claims for which there is no basis in the CBD). Such MTAs are often so broadly worded as to require tremendous expenditures of resources (likely far beyond any benefits arising from the plant material) to implement in good faith. If MTAs are to be followed in good faith, they should be designed with great care so as to neither impose undue or unclear obligations or to stifle legitimate and beneficial exchange of material.


Submitted by
Idea No. 14