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10 Intellectual Property Facts

Intellectual Property is any product of creativity and inventiveness, such as brand names, logos, books, machines, movies and songs. Protection for Intellectual Property can include: trademarks, patents, copyrights, registered designs, plant breeders’ rights, trade secrets and geographical indications. Intellectual Property protection encourages the creativity and innovation that improve our lives. Intellectual Property protection helps inventors and society alike. Individuals, businesses, communities and organisations can own and profit from Intellectual Property. Patent improvements can be made for new and existing technologies. Intellectual Property protection benefits consumers. Intellectual Property vigilance keeps us safe. Protecting Intellectual Property protects quality. Intellectual Property laws can be used by both small and big businesses to protect their investments. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) can be granted to creators of new plant varieties.

Africa-10-IP facts sheet [ 190 kb ]

10 Pesticide Facts You Need To Know

Crop protection products or pesticides are one of the vital tools that help farmers grow healthy crops. Pesticides keep food free from moulds, insects and poisonous by-products. Pesticides protect crops and livestock from pests and diseases. They are used to control household pests and community pests and diseases. Pesticide manufacturers take their product stewardship responsibilities, including end-user training, very seriously. Pesticides help farmers increase crop productivity by 20–50%; allow farmers reach full economic benefits; relieve families from laborious activities; indirectly help with conservation; are used to destroy invasive species; ensure quality products which fetch better returns. When regulated and used responsibly, pesticides do not harm humans and the environment. Pesticides ensure that consumers have access to food that is safer, more nutritious, and more affordable.

Africa-10-pesticide facts sheet [ 536 kb ]

Biotechnology Seeds

It’s in the genes. Making better seed varieties has everything to do with better genes. These genes are the codes of instruction found in every living thing – codes that tell organisms to make substances for growth, survival and many other functions or traits.

Plant biotechnology has enabled researchers to take beneficial genes from selected organisms and introduce them into plants, thus making better varieties. Some examples include biotechnology crops that are resistant to pests, more nutritious, or contribute to end products of other industries, such as biofuels.

It is important to ensure biosafety measures and other compliance requirements are observed - product stewardship. Every product passes through many development phases, rigorous safety tests and strict regulatory review.  These stages include: gene identification; concept testing; gene design; transformation; greenhouse trials; field trials; variety development;  regulatory data generation; data submission; review; field production; preparation for marketing and distribution.

Africa-Biotech fact sheet [ 396 kb ]

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty that came into force on 17-May-2004. It is designed to protect public health and the environment from the effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which are chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods and are potentially toxic to humans and wildlife.

The Convention sets out several objectives including:
· the elimination from commerce of identified POPs and others that may be identified in the future,
· encouraging the transition in commerce to safer alternatives,
· identifying additional POPs,
· the clean-up of old stockpiles and equipment containing POPs,
· encouraging all stakeholders to work towards a POP-free environment.

Stockholm Convention-fact sheet [ 93 kb ]

Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC)

The Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) is a global treaty that came into force in February 2004.  It is designed to protect public health and the environment by promoting informed decision–making by importing countries in relation to products that  have been banned or severely restricted by at least two other Parties to the Convention. It formalises the voluntary principles established in the FAO Code of Conduct.

The key principles of PIC are:
- International shipment of a pesticide included in the PIC list should not occur against the wishes of the importing country.
- In the absence of a decision from an importing country, the export may proceed if the pesticide is registered in the country, or if it has previously been used or imported into the country.
- If an importing country decides not to consent to further imports, the decision must be applied to imports from all sources, and domestic manufacturing and use must cease.
- Recommendations for inclusion of banned and severely restricted chemicals in the PIC procedure must be supported by risk evaluations reflecting prevailing conditions at the national level.

Rotterdam Convention-fact sheet [ 92 kb ]

The FAO International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with the plant science industry and other international organisations, including NGOs, developed a voluntary code of conduct, The International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, to provide a comprehensive standard for pesticide activities and serve as a point of reference in relation to sound pesticide management practices. The original FAO Code was published in 1985, and updated in 1989 to include the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure.

CropLife International have developed a “Guide for Industry on the Implementation of the FAO Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides”, for use by members to assist in implementation of the code.

FAO-CoC-fact sheet [ 89 kb ]

Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

Adopted by the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) on 06-February-2006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework for international action on chemical hazards, to improve the safe management of chemicals and pesticides.  It addresses objectives for risk reduction, knowledge and information, governance, capacity-building and technical cooperation and illegal international traffic of chemicals.

CropLife recognises that pesticides are an important group of chemicals for SAICM consideration, but stresses that current national and international laws and regulations covering the development, registration and use of pesticides should be carefully considered and fully understood before implementing any additional measures. Notwithstanding, CropLife is prepared to contribute actively to an efficient and effective implementation of SAICM, and looks for the opportunity to participate fully not only in the further development of SAICM and its implementation approach, but also in the implementation process itself.

SAICM-fact sheet [ 93 kb ]

Pesticides And Humanity : The Benefits Of Using Pesticides

There is a lot of negative publicity on pesticides.  To form a balanced view, a study was carried out to identify and characterise the various types of benefit, despite the unintended hazards.

This report provides information on pesticide effects, including primary benefits - increased yield and less obvious secondary benefits - reducing greenhouse gases; slowing rural-urban migration in the developing world by making agriculture a better livelihood option.

The report considers beneficiaries of pesticides - farmers, consumers, local communities, commerce, the global environment or mankind generally.  The study provides a long list of beneficial outcomes from sensible use of pesticides, and provides compelling evidence that pesticides will continue to be a vital tool in the diverse range of technologies that can maintain and improve living standards for the people of the world.

Pesticides and humanity, benefits [ 1.1 mb ]