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     Another compliance cost is the need to transfer obligations derived from contracts downstream, i.e., a research institute working in plant breeding with genetic materials that have been obtained through contracts may have to require farmers involved in local testing of potential new varieties to sign contracts restricting their use of the varieties that they obtained (e.g., farmers participating in rice research in the Philippines).

     Humanitarian use licenses on individual parts of AKST can reduce these transaction costs to a limited extent since the negotiations that lead to such licenses may be lengthy. One policy option is more generic approaches that limit such costs have been initiated by international consortiums of research institutions forming the "Generation Challenge Program" (Barry and Louwaars, 2005), and those collaborating in PIPRA (Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture).

      Application of open-source approaches to genetic technologies (www.bios.net) is a policy option for providing more sustainable solutions to the emerging patent thicket, but its impact is yet limited.

Private, community and national rights. It is not only the private rights (primarily IPRs) that affect the organization of agricultural research for development. Community rights, such as those based on traditional knowledge, and sovereign national rights (on genetic resources based on the CBD) affect research institutions in a similar way. Transaction costs are increased through the need to negotiate access and terms, the opportunities to use the best available inputs in research are reduced, and the use of the research results may be restricted (Safrin, 2004; Louwaars, 2006). Research institutions need to trace all the knowledge, technologies and genetic materials in the various research programs and may have to check at the start of every program or experiment whether third party rights may interfere with their program or experimental design. These institutions may have to consult with legal advisors regarding these rights at every step of making their new technologies available to farmers. One policy option is to expand and strengthen the International Treaty on Plant Genetic resources for Food and Agriculture, the implementation of which is likely to reduce the transaction costs at least for the use of genetic resources of the major field crops and pasture species covered by the Standard Material Transfer Agreement.

Challenges for public research and policy options. Whether or not public research organizations intend to obtain revenue through protecting their own intellectual property, they need to develop institutional policies how to deal with such rights. Such policies need to be supported at the national level of policy and regulation.

      Option to strengthen awareness of the issues and professional capacity in IP-strategy and marketing (Erbisch and Fischer, 1998) can focus on three different levels: scientists, research managers and policy makers (Cohen et al., 1999), which often requires the establishment of specialized technology transfer offices (Maredia and Erbisch, 1999).

      Above all, national policy makers responsible for agricultural development and the national agricultural research systems need to be aware of the challenges that new rights


regimes on intellectual property, traditional knowledge and genetic resources pose in the public research institutes and their relation with an emerging private sector. Policies that reduce public expenditure, that promote the use of IPRs by public research institutions or that restrict access to genetic resources and traditional agricultural knowledge could be based on a thorough understanding of the role of public research in the arena of access, development and use of AKST in development.

     Policy options at the national level to make sure that thickets of rights do not develop in technologies and materials that are important for development and sustainability goals particularly include mechanisms to exempt the use of knowledge and materials for use for these goals when these are protected by private, community and national rights.

7.4.4 Rights systems on natural resources: from simple ownership to bundle of rights

Scientific knowledge takes into account the frames through which the real world is perceived by stakeholders, such as scientists (fundamental and applied), local innovators, policy makers, businessmen, negotiators in international arenas. The knowledge on local management systems of natural resources and the theories to which this knowledge refers are the basis upon which decisions and agreements are made. Appropriate AKST can contribute to the improvement of the understanding of what is relevant at the field level and with local situations.

      There are a wide variety of rights and management systems for natural resources. For example, one may own the land but not the subsoil resources, or the trees in a forest. A participant in a common property regime may have guaranteed exclusive use of a parcel she has cleared, or that parcel may be subject to reassignment by a tribal elder. An untitled farmer at the agricultural frontier may have what is commonly considered "ownership" of the "improvement" to the land, which may not be de jure, but sufficiently enshrined in a de facto sense that those improvements can be bought and sold in the market. Some common property regimes have proven to be far more sustainable than individual property regimes. Commons are open access resources, the property of which is not allocated to individuals but supposedly owned in common. Commons are not excludable and are in se not rivalrous. (Kaul et al., 1999; Wouters and de Meester, 2003). Strengthening the focus on new rules and international agreements that take into account more complex situations in regard of property rights and regimes is an option.7

7 There are many examples of successful management "in common", based on a variety of rights which are used to regulate access to, usage, exploitation, ownership, alienation, exclusion, etc. of such resources. Even though land is a rival and excludable good, many traditional societies maintain nonexclusive grazing and hunting grounds. And some communities effectively manage as commons such natural resources as land, forests, water and plant and animal species (Demsetz, 1967; Bromley, 1990; Barzel, 1997), thus reconfirming that excludable resources do not necessarily have to be made private or exclusive. Doing so is a policy choice.