Who owns the genes of forest trees?
This is a very relevant question considering developments in intellectual property rights for crop plants. Most Nordic countries presently have a simple and non-bureaucratic access to forest genetic resources (FGR), which is strongly connected to the Everyman's right. The present regime is regarded very valuable for the forestry sector, but the status for FGR has not been defined legally.
If, however, the legal situation remains unclear the situation for forest trees as concerns intellectual property rights can be expected to follow the development for crop plants, e.g. that FGR are increasingly controlled by private property rights and that access to and exchange of them is being limited or hindered.
In 2008 the Nordic Council of Ministers granted NordGen Forest a project on access and rights to FGR, in which the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway is an important collaborator. On 13 September 2010 the results of the project will be presented in a half day seminar in Vienna, back-to-back with the EUFGIS final conference ( http://www.eufgis.org/ ).
Take the opportunity to participate and send your registration to Tor Myking ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). Deadline for registration is 27 August.
Please find the tentative programme here .