Accepted Paper:

Seeds, law and identity: conserving biodiversity  


Demetria Stephens
Linda Davis-Stephens (Colby Community College)

Paper short abstract:

Seeds sustain civilizations. This paper recounts the history of the landrace "Turkey" wheat and a developing model for future seed savers. The paper documents attempts to make a biological open source license to preserve seeds and indigenous knowledge for future generations.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines seeds' role in sustaining civilizations and asserts that the basis for food security is seed saving. It follows the history of wheat and peoples, focusing on personal experience growing landrace "Turkey" wheat. The Turkey Red story of 140 years ago has been called a myth. It is part of a developing business model for future seed savers that encourages diverse and locally-saved seed supplies. That model is being threatened by patenting seeds today, which limits the availability of seed and the role of seed savers. The paper documents attempts for the development of a biological open source license. The license would work toward preservation of seeds and an indigenous knowledge base for future generations.

Panel P036
Indigenous knowledge and sustainable development (Commission on Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development)