Partner: Ford Foundation, NOVIB and Action Aid Asia
Team Members: Dr. Abid Qaiyum suleri, Shafqat Munir
SDPI firmly believes that challenges facing the South Asia region should be tackled through adapting joint regional strategies. This is a South Asia regional initiative carried out through the South Asia Watch on Trade Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) network of which SDPI is a member.
SAWTEE and SDPI worked on the project entitled “Farmer’s Rights to Access and Benefit Sharing from Plant Genetic Resources”. Project aimed to raise issues of small farmers, especially those pertaining to their patent and property rights on the bio-diversity resources, and related traditional knowledge.
This was six-year program, (comprising of two phases of three years each) funded by the Ford Foundation, NOVIB and ActionAid Asia. Various studies were conducted in this program, it primarily focused on raising the level of debate on issues related to the protection and promotion of farmers’ rights in the WTO era at the level of civil society, public sector, and policy makers and conducting research on vital issues. These studies analyzed the possible opportunities for, and threats within the multilateral trading system to farmers of the Hindukush-Himalaya (HKH) region. During the first phase, SDPI produced 12 briefing papers, two research reports and an online database of medicinal plants found in Pakistan- the first of its kind in the South Asia.
During the reporting period, SDPI reviewed a draft Bio-diversity Act following a national consultation that was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment. The synthesis report prepared by SDPI along with policy recommendations was submitted to Bio-diversity Secretariat – Ministry of Environment in order to update the act. SDPI also held a special panel on Farmers’ Rights in its annual conference, which addressed the food security crisis of the the region.