Global plant breeding community mourns passing of Ciopora’s first Secretary General and Honorary Member René Royon

HAMBURG, Germany: The global plant breeding community said goodbye to a truly inspirational figure on 26 June, when Ciopora’s first Secretary-General and Honorary Member, René Royon, passed away in Mougins, France, only a few months after the death of his beloved wife Pierette.

On behalf of the global plant breeding community, Ciopora’s Secretary General Edgar Krieger paid tribute to René, issuing the following statement.

“Rene Royon was the co-founder of Ciopora in 1961 and the first Secretary-General of our association for an impressive period of 43 years, until 2004. At his farewell ceremony in April 2005 in Nice, he became the first Honorary Member of Ciopora and bearer of the association’s Gold Medal, in recognition of his immense accomplishments within our organisation. René is closely connected with the early history of plant variety protection, together with Francis Meilland, who hired René in 1955 as a young man from HEC school. René tirelessly dedicated his life and energy to plant variety protection, of which the creation of Ciopora is the best proof.

René Royon significantly contributed to the development of the UPOV Plant Variety Right system, being one of the very few representatives of breeders who participated in all three Diplomatic Conferences: 1961, 1978 and 1991. His understanding of the needs of plant breeders and his visionary ideas significantly influenced all three UPOV Acts.

Under his supervision, several Ciopora congresses on plant breeder’s rights took place; in Paris (1957), Amsterdam (1962), Budapest (1977), Geneva (1982), Washington (1987), Munich (1992) and Strassbourg (1997).

René was the author of Ciopora’s Green Paper (2002) about the Protection of Plant Varieties and, as Secretary General of CIOPORA, contributed significantly to the passage of Breeder’s Rights legislation in France, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, Japan, Colombia, Mexico, China and Brazil.

As Ciopora’s Secretary General, he published several articles on breeder’s rights in the broadest sense.

René was one of the leading experts in Intellectual Property for plants and a true

friend and companion. His sense of humour and capacity to entertain an audience as a magician and a storyteller were outstanding. In addition to French, his mother tongue, René spoke fluently several languages, including Russian. In retirement, he turned his intellect and talents to painting, a medium in which he quickly became skilled.

René will remain a fundamental part of Ciopora. His legacy stimulates and encourages us to

continue fighting for the rights of breeders and their plant varieties. We want to share our sincere condolences to his family and relatives.”

The Ciopora Team

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