Saint Vincent and the Grenadines accedes to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants
After depositing its instrument of accession to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) on 22nd Feb 2021, on March 22nd 2021 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has become the seventy-seventh member of UPOV.
The UPOV Convention was adopted in Paris in 1961 and subsequently revised in 1972, 1978 and 1991. UPOV’s mission is “to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection, with the aim of encouraging the development of new varieties of plants, for the benefit of society”. In so doing, UPOV encourages innovation in the plant breeding sector and provides a mechanism to reward the ingenuity and creativity of breeders for developing new varieties of plants. As with other intellectual property rights systems, the UPOV system sets the legal framework for protecting breeders’ rights by providing plant breeders with an exclusive right to their newly created plant varieties for a specific period of time, while making the genetic material available for others to use in their breeding programs once they have been authorised to do so.
In 2019, the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, passed legislation to protect the intellectual property rights of breeders of new plant varieties. By becoming a member of the UPOV Convention Saint Vincent and the Grenadines can now operationalise their national legal framework for the protection of new plant varieties. From an economic perspective, this means that the country is well placed to develop a viable seed industry for its priority plant genetic resources of agricultural importance.