Sustainable development calls for environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and socio-political sustainability.The concept of sustainable development is enshrined in a number of global and regional treaties, declarations, and reports such as the Brundtland Commission Report, the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21, the Millennium Development Goals[MDGs], the Johannesburg Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, and the 2000 Cotonou Agreement between African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Union [the Cotonou Agreement]. The purpose of this Article is to integrate the requirements of the environmental protection of plant genetic resources (for example by the Convention on Biological Diversity [CBD]) into the intellectual property protection of plant genetic resources (patent laws and plant variety protection laws). The Article argues that, first, as the discussion in the following sections shows, the successful implementation of the CBD partly depends on the cooperation of other states and that there is thus a need for an international integration of environmental protection into development laws, policies and programs. Second, the intersection between the CBD /International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources on Food and Agriculture [IT-PGRFA] and plant intellectual property laws, and Agreements have to be considered as one way for developed countries to fulfill the many promises given to developing countries under different laws, agreements and declarations such as the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO, the TRIPS Agreement, the Rio Declaration, the MDGs, the CBD, the IT-PGRFA, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and the 2000 Cotonou Agreement.
Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 2010, Vol 12, Issue 5, p. 125-138