Title: Material Transfer Agreements on Teff and Vernonia– Ethiopian Plant Genetic Resources

  •  Abeba Gebreselassie    


Humans require plant resources to satisfy their basic needs for clothing, food, medication, shelter, and so on. In order to conserve and sustainably use these resources, the CBD, and the FAO-Treaty on PGRFA exist internationally, and for example the African Union Model Law exists regionally to provide frameworks for how these resources are to be accessed and how the benefits obtained from their utilization should be allocated. As a signatory to the CBD, Ethiopia issued its ABS law in 2006. Ethiopia has signed material transfer agreements on teff (gluten free and nutritious) and vernonia (the green chemical plant of the 21st Century) with two European-based companies. This article seeks to interpret and discuss the terms of the agreements on teff and vernonia. Furthermore, it analyzes the implications of the terms of the agreement for the realization of the objective of the CBD (e.g. access, benefit sharing and conservation).

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