World Intellectual Property Organization

Millennium Development Goal 1

Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Target 1.A:

Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day

1.1 Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
1.2 Poverty gap ratio
1.3 Share of poorest quintile in national consumption

Target 1.B:

Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

1.4 Growth rate of GDP per person employed
1.5 Employment-to-population ratio
1.6 Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
1.7 Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment

Target 1.C:

Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

1.8 Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age
1.9 Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption


What WIPO is Doing on MDG 1

Innovation in Agriculture

The intellectual property (IP) system plays an important role in the agricultural sector, in particular in agricultural innovation and food security. In 2009, WIPO established the Program on IP and Global Challenges, with one of its priorities to deal with issues relating to IP and food security. WIPO’s role is to act as a dialogue partner and a source of technically sound analysis and assistance to enhance understanding on this complex issue. Central to this work is the analysis and dissemination of information on the use of IP as a public policy tool to address food security. To this effect, WIPO has convened and will continue to convene a series of public policy symposia focused on current cross-cutting issues such as biotechnology, public sector IP management, patent landscaping and life sciences regulation.

In order to improve access to relevant technologies, WIPO is developing certain policy tools such as patent landscapes on technology relating to crops of particular interest to developing countries and LDCs. These include, for example, landscapes on the rice genome and on gene promoters relevant to rice, maize, potato and soybean7. The WIPO Development Agenda Project on “Developing Tools for Access to Patent Information” is an integral part of that endeavor, and will seek to develop further WIPO’s patent landscaping work for selected agricultural technologies to be defined in partnership with relevant inter-governmental organizations (IGOs). The project will also enhance the capacity of local institutions (for example, Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCS)) to use patent information and to develop analytical reports based on patent information.

Cooperation with international partners will be central to WIPO’s work in this area. In particular, WIPO will also continue to cooperate closely with the FAO (for example, by supporting the FAO International Technical Conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries), the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT-PGRFA) and the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).

Job creation

In addition to issues related to agriculture, countries’ capacity to achieve this Goal could also be enhanced through the role IP can play in enhancing the competiveness of domestic enterprises in developing countries and LDCs, which in turn can have an impact on employment (target 1b). Incentives, in the form of IP rights, built around balanced policies, laws and institutions can incentivize and empower creators, inventors and innovators to add value to, and benefit economically from, their creations; enhance enterprise competitiveness, particularly that of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; enable them to better differentiate and brand their products and services and to increase their income; and generally make the economy better prepared to attract local and foreign investments. In this respect, WIPO’s Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Program (SMEs) plays a role through its ongoing work in raising awareness and building capacity among SMEs and SME support institutions on the use of the IP system to generate value among SMEs in the marketplace. The WIPO Development Agenda Project on “Improvement of National, Sub-regional and Regional IP Institutional Capacity”, which on the one hand seeks to support the development of national IP strategies that are dove-tailed with countries’ development plans and, on the other, aims to support institutions to provide improved IP support services to SMEs will also make a contribution in this area.

Traditional Knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources

WIPO’s work in the field of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources also contributes to this MDG. Appropriate protection of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources can contribute to ensuring that local communities who conserve and maintain these resources and assets receive a fair share of economic benefits derived from their exploitation.  Communities can also be empowered to trade in culturally-distinct goods and services they derive from their knowledge systems and traditional creativity. 

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