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UPOV Council gives green light for Brunei and Myanmar to become UPOV member

The Council of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) held in Geneva, Switzerland on October 26, 2017, confirmed the conformity of the “Plant Varieties Protection Order” (Order) of Brunei Darussalam and the “Draft Law on New Plant Variety Protection” (Draft Law) of Myanmar with the provisions of the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention.
The decision is a great step for Brunei and Myanmar toward the accession to the UPOV Convention.

1. Summary

Plant variety protection (PVP) system furnishes protection of breeders’ right, one of the intellectual property rights, with the aim of encouraging the development of new plant varieties that contributes to the development of agriculture and the benefit of society. The International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV Convention) provides the legal, administrative and technical basis to encourage plant breeding by granting breeder's right.
As of November 10, 2017, UPOV has 75 members which have introduced a PVP system based on the UPOV Convention in order to provide an effective, internationally recognized system.

A state or intergovernmental organization that wishes to become a UPOV member needs to seek an examination by the UPOV Council in respect of the conformity of its law with the provisions of the UPOV Convention.

The Council of the UPOV held its fifty-first ordinary session on October 26, 2017, affirmed the conformity of the Order of Brunei Darussalam, the Draft Law of Guatemala and the Draft Law of Myanmar with the provisions of the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention.
The decisions enable these three countries to deposit their instrument of accession to the UPOV Convention after the necessary domestic procedures. It is expected that Brunei and Myanmar would be the first UPOV member in Asian region since Viet Nam’s accession to the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention in 2006 subsequently to Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore.

The accessions of Brunei and Myanmar to the UPOV Convention would encourage development of internationally harmonized PVP systems in Southeast Asia, which supports plant breeding activities in this region by means of encouragement of innovation in the development of new varieties with features in increasing productivity and product quality in agriculture.

2. Japan’s contribution to internationally harmonized PVP system in Asia

Japan proposed the establishment of the East Asia Plant Variety Protection (EAPVP) Forum, for the purpose of facilitating international harmonization of the PVP system, and the proposal was endorsed at the ASEAN+3 Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF+3) Meeting in 2007.  The Forum consists of ASEAN member states and People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.  The Forum has provided assistance in human resource development and awareness raising with regard to the benefits derived from the introduction of the UPOV system, in cooperation with the Office and members of UPOV and organizations concerned.

As part of Forum’s effort, in July 2016, Japan organized “High level study tour of PVP” in collaboration with the UPOV Office.  The tour aimed at encouraging the countries to establish internationally harmonized PVP systems, and presented implementation and the effect of PVP system in Japan to participated policy makers in-charge from ASEAN countries. 

An international training course has also been organized by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported by the UPOV Office to contribute to the enhancement of PVP systems and quality control of seeds and seedlings.  In 2017, a three-month training course was conducted in Japan and Viet Nam.

photo2 photo1
The 10th EAPVP Forum Meeting
in Myanmar (2017)
Training Course for DUS test
in Cambodia (2017)


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