Our new Practical Manual on the Right to Seeds in Europe focuses on the steps that the European Union (EU) and the EU Member States shall take, via the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UNDROP), to better protect the right to seeds in Europe.
Authored by Dr Christophe Golay and Dr Fulya Batur, this practical manual is the outcome of a series of online events organized in 2020 and 2021 – with partners such as European Coordination Via Campesina, Arche Noah, IFOAM Organics Europe and FIAN International.
Targeting representatives of EU institutions and EU Member States, peasant organizations, seed networks, academics and experts from Europe, it discusses how UNDROP’s article 19, which recognizes the right to seeds, shall be taken into account in the future revision of EU rules on seeds, with concrete examples on the path forward.
‘EU and EU Member States shall ensure that this revision does not lead to further violations, but to better protection of peasants’ right to seeds in Europe. Our practical manual provides them with the tools to do so’ underlines Dr Christophe Golay, Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.
In the EU and EU Member States, seed laws and regulations have been designed to cater to the needs of the agricultural industry, and the rights of peasants have been largely neglected. Peasant seed systems and traditional knowledge have not been recognised, and therefore not adequately supported. This has discouraged, and in some cases hindered the continuation of peasant agricultural activities.
Dr Christophe Golay explains that ‘UNDROP’s implementation represents a unique opportunity to rebalance the lack of support given to peasant seed systems in Europe, compared to the support given to industrial seed systems in recent decades. This is essential for the protection of the livelihoods of millions of peasants, as well as the interest of all in the preservation of crop biodiversity’.
For Dr Fulya Batur, founder of Kybele (Seeds & Biodiversity), ‘the EU and its Member States shall now act to make sure that peasants’ seed systems not only exist but fully operate and thrive as production and conservation systems. They shall ensure the full and meaningful participation of peasants in decision-making on matters relating to seeds; guarantee the right of peasants to maintain, control, protect and develop their own seeds and traditional knowledge; and make sure that agricultural research and development is oriented towards peasants’ needs’.
This practical manual focuses on the steps that the European Union (EU) and the EU Member States shall take to better protect the right to seeds in Europe.
From its adoption to its content and implementation, this training course provides a comprehensive overview of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants, as well as tools to protect and promote the rights of peasants, rural women, fisher, pastoralist and nomadic communities, as well as agricultural workers.
This project aims to raise awareness about the complementarity of human rights and development by analyzing the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights and global development goals, namely the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.
NYU Stern BH
This project aims at supporting the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights' project for the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.