Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

‘That plant is my ancestor’: dilemmas for intellectual property in developing countries, food security and Pacific Island countries

Sue Farran

Keywords: plant protection; food security; post-colonial politics; access to knowledge

The global significance of intellectual property laws is familiar to most of those interested in this area of law. What might be less familiar is the impact of intellectual property on the issue of food security in developing countries. This paper considers the consequences of factors such as TRIPS-plus compliance imposed on recent entrants to the World Trade Organization and the role and impact of patents and sui generis means of protecting plant breeders' rights on food security in developing countries. In particular the paper focuses on examples drawn from the Pacific where island countries are not only considering WTO membership or have recently signed up to this and incurred consequent IP obligations, but where food security is increasingly under pressure due to climate change, environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, shifts in agricultural practice and knowledge transfer, changing socio-economic patterns and the consequences of the global economic crisis. This is also a region where Western models of IP, although prevalent as introduced and imposed concepts, being a legacy of a colonial past, fit uneasily with forms and practices of indigenous traditional knowledge, and where local initiatives may be better suited to ensuring sustainability of food crops than the present thrust of neo-colonial IP laws.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.