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Junior research group RightSeeds

The project „Right Seeds? Common-based rights on seeds and seed varieties for a social-ecological transformation of crop production“ aims at the transformation potential of common-based seed systems for social-ecological plant production – promoting food sovereignty, agrobiodiversity and diversified ecosystem services.

RightSeeds follows an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research approach – integrating perspectives from ecology, economics, political science and ethics, as well as collaborating with German and Philippine seed stakeholders.

The main objectives are (i) to analyze success factors of alternative valuation approaches for ecosystem services in commons systems, (ii) to initiate learning processes between commons-based system initiatives at the national and international level, and (iii) to identify promising breeding approaches, business models, communication and governance strategies for strengthening social-ecological transformation in the seed sector.

RightSeeds is a collaborative research project by the Department for Economics at the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, the Institute for Ecological Economics Research (IÖW) and the Agroecology group at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

Scientific Approach and Subprojects

The project adopts an integrative research approach that links ecology, political science, economics and ethics by developing a common conceptual framework and working on joint case studies. Research at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg focuses on philosophical analyses of normative arguments for common goods in general or for common goods-based rights to seed/varieties as well as on a political science and institutional economics analysis of the multi-level governance framework for property rights to seed/varieties. The Institute for Ecological Economy examines in particular the organizational forms of social entrepreneurs and their role in the provision of common goods.  The Department of Agroecology at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen conducts ecological field experiments on the influence of specific crop variety selection, variety combinations and cultivation practices on agrobiodiversity and agroecosystem performance.

The integration of the practice partners is achieved by initiating, accompanying and documenting south-north exchange processes, regular focus groups and workshops, interviews and joint field experiments.

Project Duration

10/2016 – 09/2021

Funding

The junior research group RightSeeds is supported through the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) within the Research for Sustainability Program (FONA³). RightSeeds is part of the funding priority "Social-Ecological Research“.

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