March 1, 2006
House of Peoples' Representatives
endorsed two bills providing for the Plant Breeders' Right as
well as Genetic Resources and Community Knowledge and Rights.
In its 11th regular session on Tuesday, the House endorsed the
bills after deliberations on the report presented by the Rural
Development and the Natural Resources and Environmental
Protection Standing committees of the House.
The report presented by the committees indicated that the
proclamation providing for Plant Breeders' Rights would enable
the private sector play its role in releasing new plant
varieties suitable for various ecosystems in the country.
Members of the Standing Committees also said the proclamation
would encourage farmers and pastoralists use their genetic
Moreover, the proclamation would encourage investment and paves
the way for the utilization of new plant varieties released
As Ethiopia is on the way to be admitted as member of the World
Trade Organization, the Standing Committees pointed out that it
became necessary to issue the plant breeders' rights
proclamation in tune with the existing realities in the country.
They said the proclamation, which conforms to the rural
development policies and strategies as well as the free market
policy of the country, would be instrumental to speed up
Following the deliberations, the house endorsed the bill with
368 votes and 22 abstentions.
Similarly, the House discussed on the Bill Providing for Genetic
Resources and Community Knowledge and Rights after hearing the
report presented by the Rural Development, Legal, Information
and Cultural Affairs Standing Committees.
The committees indicated in their report that the bill will have
a significant importance for the protection of the country's
genetic resources as well as the equitable distribution of the
benefits of the resources.
The bill would also facilitate the expansion of investment and
the realization of the rural development strategy.
The standing committees said the proclamation is indicative of
Ethiopia's commitment to implement international conventions
signed on genetic resources.
It was indicated that community knowledge and recognition given
for community resources would have immense contribution for the
protection and preservation the genetic resources of the
The House endorsed the proclamation with 375 votes and 16
Some 365 members of the House attended the 11th Regular Session.
Ethiopian News Agency
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