The project capitalizes on Norwegian experience to advance farmers’ rights (FR) in access to plant genetic resources (PGR) in Bulgaria by preparation for implementation of the International Treaty on PGR for Food and Agriculture & Nagoya Protocol and by advising on development of a National PGR Strategy. Outcomes: increased capacity to implement FR for conservation and sustainable use of PGR; improved protection of traditional knowledge from extinction; increased awareness on bioprospecting, fair and equitable sharing of benefits; a more integrated approach in application of FR; improved ways for integration in sectoral policies and legislation, etc. Outputs: Study of FR in PGR access and policy research; Critical Success Factors in advancing FR; List of measures for implementation of FR; a policy paper for major stakeholders; awareness events and capacity building workshops, public consultations; an action plan for implementation of FR in Bulgaria; policy document for stakeholders.
Summary of project results
The main purpose of the project is ensuring farmers' rights in access to plant genetic resources for agricultural activities and food industry in the context of the signed and ratified, by Bulgaria, international treaties: International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and the Nagoya Protocol. The scope of the project covered central government institutions, ministries and government agencies, research and scientific organizations, individual farmers and farmers’ branch structures, civil society organizations, etc., which deal with the subjects of food, biodiversity, agro diversity and cultural diversity The human resource capacity was developed during workshops (more than 100 people were involved, while 30 were planned) Measures were proposed for applying an integrated approach to ensure the rights of farmers. Awareness of the need to preserve traditional knowledge was built Studies of existing policies and practices have been carried out Methods to study policies and processes and to reach consensus on important topics were applied, The goal was to modernize the relationship between farmers, NGOs, gene banks and decision-makers. The project activities contributed to updating views at all levels of the problematic areas, in support of the farmers' access to plant genetic resources. Reflection in legislation was extensively covered During the project implementation was the establishment of working contacts and knowledge exchange with many Norwegian, Scandinavian and international organizations, e.g. Biodiversity International Project developed ideas and models for implementation of practices for sustainable growth based on the diversity of traditional genetic resources. A very successful study visit to Norway for a group of 6 Bulgarian representatives of the target groups (decision makers from MAFF and MOEW, farmers, and IPGR Sadovo) which visits to the Norwegian Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, NIBIO, farmers, working with PGR, and other organizations/institutions, part of the PGR value chain The results of the project activities reflect the leading practices of partner, NIBIO, which provides expertise not to the Norwegian Government, only, but also to the decision-making levels of the EU and beyond (FAO, UN). Project results were verified during the meetings at Biodiversity International and the full compliance with the international norms was acknowledged. Results also in line with the opinion of the European Network of Managing Authorities for Cohesion Policy and Biodiversity
Summary of bilateral results
During the project implementation, key events for the development of bilateral relations were organized and conducted as seminars and workshops with the target groups, a study visit to Norway for representatives of the target groups, the international organization Biodiversity International, https://www.bioversityinternational.org/
, and a final meeting with representatives of the leaders of the MoEW and the MAF, as well as the IAACS and the IRGS Sadovo. The aim was to stimulated the ideas for follow-up cooperation and co-operation applicable in the next programming time. For both countries, it was particularly helpful to meet the Biodiversity International product groups, due to the organization's experience in the field of our project worldwide. There have been scientific developments and ongoing projects. Future opportunities for cooperation were also discussed and foreseen.