The most distinguishing aspect of OSSI, it is the idea that genetic resources – in the form of seeds- are going to be set aside for humanity to use in any way it sees fit. These genetic resources cannot be patented or otherwise legally protected, making them essentially available in perpetuity in a protected commons. If they were just in a regular commons, people could obtain them and protect them, but in this commons they must remain free.
Hence the phrase “Free the Seed!”
refer also to www.facebook.com/SeedLibraryLasVegas
This week, scientists, farmers and sustainable food systems advocates will gather on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to celebrate an unusual group of honored guests: 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains that are being publicly released using a novel form of ownership agreement known as the Open Source Seed Pledge.
The pledge, which was developed through a UW-Madison-led effort known as the Open Source Seed Initiative, is designed to keep the new seeds free for all people to grow, breed and share for perpetuity, with the goal of protecting the plants from patents and other restrictions down the line.
The Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) has been developed over the past two years by a working group of plant breeders, farmers, non-profit agencies, seed advocates, and policy makers. OSSI is dedicated to maintaining fair and open access to plant genetic resources worldwide. OSSI supports innovative plant breeding that produces resilient and productive cultivars.
Enabling the open exchange of germplasm, with no restrictions on further breeding, is crucial to this new agriculture. OSSI will work toward achievement of (1) A germplasm release framework with no breeding or seed saving restrictions on the germplasm released through its auspices other than that derivatives must also be released with the same freedoms; (2) A robust, vibrant, and well-supported public plant breeding sector producing germplasm and cultivars that can be equitably grown, sold, changed, and distributed; (3) A plurality of sources for farmers, gardeners, and breeders to obtain seed; (4) Integration of the skills and capacities of farmers with those of plant scientists for enhancing and enlarging participatory plant breeding; and (5) Respect for the rights and sovereignty of indigenous communities, and of farmers and farm communities, to play a role in solutions to obtaining seed for food production.
See on opensourceseedinitiative.org