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Good morning, Michelle here. Today we’re asking the complex question of who should own seeds, as peasant farmers reject companies' rights claims over what they see as a common good.

We also take a first peak at an open air exhibition in Geneva that reminds us that plastic waste has inundated every corner of the planet and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

photo journaliste

Michelle Langrand


Climate & environment news

Photo article

A farmer holds corn seeds at the Malcolm Jay Town in Liberia, 7 July 2018. (Credit: Keystone/EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo)

👩🏾‍🌾 Whose seeds are they anyway? Countries have increasingly adopted a legal framework that largely favours the marketing rights of breeders over their new plant varieties in order to incentivise innovation. Rights groups argue that this system undermines peasants’ right to seeds and even jeopardises the world’s food security by neglecting to recognise traditional seed systems.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

Photo article

One of the photographs of the exhibition (Credit: UNEP, Malou Lenoir-Lasquite)

📸 ‘Plastic is forever’. Turtles and rays swimming in a plastic-filled ocean or children walking on fields swarming with plastic debris are a couple of the startling scenes depicted in an open-air exhibition next to the Leman Lake at Rotonde du Mont Blanc in Geneva, launched on Tuesday and on display until 29 July. The exhibition by the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions on hazardous wastes features winners of a photography contest aiming to remind the public that plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose; its harmful effects on the environment and human health are here to stay if we don’t break the plastic addiction quickly.

“Durable and omnipresent, in one way or another, plastic is forever. Although we can’t live without, maybe not sure we wish to, we do need to rethink the way we view and use it and I think we’re on the edge of that now,” said Paul Rose, explorer and expedition leader of the National Geographic Pristine Seas team and one of the judges of the contest.


Next on the Agenda

📌 12 July | Hermance à Genève. Following an 18 km stroll, hikers meet at Palais des Nations to discuss with local environmental groups about the need to act ahead of the Climate Summit Cop26 and wrap the day with music, drinks, food... and a dip in the lake! Traces du climat

Traces du climat (EN)

📌 20-30 July | Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security. Policy-makers, farmers, NGOs, community leaders and the private sector discuss the links between sustainable land management and peace. Initiatives of change Switzerland

Initiatives of Change Switzerland (EN)

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