Although the study of climate change impacts on Geographical indication ("GI") is a relatively recent research topic it is increasingly gaining attention among scientists, legal scholars, farmers, traders and consumers. Most publications focus on sustainability, field operations scenarios, norms, social and economical aspectsbut there appears to be very little analysis on the effects of Paris Agreement on climate change (“PA”) in protecting GIs against climate change. A widespread conclusion is that climate change is likely to affect the yield, distribution of GI products and possibly their quality, price and location. GI Critics argue against the rigidity of GI regime which may inhibit GI products, engraved into traditions, from adapting to climate change. To develop this line of enquiry, the paper focuses on two threshold issues (1) how aspects of terroir and the rules and practices behind GI can adapt to climate change? (2) Are there intersections between GIs, human rights and biodiversity so that GIs could be integrated within the climate change legal framework and benefit from adaptation mechanism provided under the PA?
1. How aspects of terroir and the rules and practices behind GIs can adapt to climate change?
1.1 Terroir and Geographical Indications
The concept of terroir is intrinsically associated with GI. GIs are Intellectual Property Rights (“IPRs”) that recognize and protect agricultural (e.g. Champagne, tequila) and non agricultural products (e.g. Lamphun Thai silk) as holding specific, distinct and traceable features based on terroir. Originally developed for wine, terroir is now applied to a large variety of GIs products such as tea, cheese, coffee, olive oil, vegetable, fruit, handicrafts. Terroir is a complex, intriguing and vague concept. What it embraces is not necessarily clear and universally accepted. Is terroir wider that soil? Should terroir embody all factors that impart particular qualities to a product, should it include variables such as climate?
The Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs defines terroir as a quality of products "essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment with its inherent natural and human factors and the production, processing, and preparation of which take place in the defined geographical areas.".
The Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (“OIV”) defines "Vitivinicultural terroir” as "an area in which collective knowledge of the interactions between the identifiable physical and biological environment and applied vitivinicultural practices develops, providing distinctive characteristics for the products originating from this area. ". In its Guide on Geographical Indications, the Food and Agricultural Organization (“FAO”) defines terroir as "a delimited geographic space where a human community, has constructed over a course of history a collective intellectual or tacit production know-how, based on a system of interactions between physical and biological milieu, and a set of human factors, in which the socio-technical trajectories put into play, (6) reveal an originality, confer a typically, and can engender a reputation, for a product that originates in that terroir".
The above definitions conveys that terroir is wider that soil and topography. It embraces climate, biodiversity features, human capital, social organization and other factors that impart particular qualities to a product. The concept of terroir goes so far as to conclude that the location itself is determinative of the product's characteristics and can serve, for example, to differentiate, Old World GIs wines which are geographically-indicated (e.g. Champagne) from New World wines which are varietally-indicated (e.g. chardonnay, Pinot etc).
The concept of GIs has spread to other countries than France and Italy where it originates from and received full legal recognition with the signing of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that came into effect in 1994. GIs are defined in the TRIPS as something that: “identify a good as originated in the territory of a Member, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin”. The definition emphasizes on the clear link between a product and its terroir.
WTO member countries have to provide legal tools to protect GIs. For example, in USA, the wine regions are called American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs which is a variation of terroir although less stringent. The use of AVA on a wine label requires that not less than 85 % of the wines must be derived from grapes grown within the boundaries of the AVA and unlike most GIs there are no restrictions on the type of wine grapes that can be grown in an AVA and used as part of the 85%. In Europe, under the banner of GI, there are two subcategories Protected Geographical Indication ("PGI") and Protected Designations of Origin ("PDO"). A PGI is “where the product must be produced, processed or prepared, and which has specific qualities attributable to that geographical area”. In other words, at least one phase of production, processing, or preparation shall occur in the area of question. A PDO is more stringent than PGI since it requires that the “product must be produced and processed in the defined geographic area, using recognized know-how”. Qualities and properties are exclusively determined by natural and human factors.
Apart from being a legal instrument, GI is an important policy tool giving farmers opportunities to escape from commodity production to producing for a differentiated niche market at generally a premium price.
1.2 Geographical indications and the disruptive force of Climate Change
Increasingly and notably as a result of climate change, scientists have been engaged in identifying the most important components of terroir in relation to GIs. Not all GIs are equally impacted by climate change. As it concerns assessing the impacts of climate change, four categories of GIs covering both agricultural and non agricultural products can be drawn.
Table 1 - Categorizing geographical indications based on likelihood of climate change impacts
GI products which are not based directly on natural factors (categories 3 and 4), climate change is unlikely to have an impact because the primary input is either not an agricultural product or the product is simply brought into the geographic area for processing or storage only. However, categories 1 and 2 could face significant challenges in maintaining their terroir based GI characteristics as the effects of climate change evolve.
For example, the two following GIs of categories 1 and 2 are sensitive to climate conditions, as described in their Book of Specifications.
Table 2 - assessing importance of climate change as a natural factor in GIs Aglio di Voghiera and Champagne Books of Specifications
For example, in the viticulture a warmer climate will impact the wine-grapes physiology and agronomic characteristics through over-ripening, drying out, rising acidity level, and greater vulnerability to pests and disease, impacting the wine quality by changing its complexity, balance and tanics structure.
Graphs 1, 2 & 3 - Assessing the impacts of climate change on wine-grapes harvesting, water balance and agronomic characteristics
A GI carries with it obligations and constraints that create the legal basis upon which it was granted. These obligations are usually found in the GI's Book of Specifications or Cahier des Charges and include the defined geographical area, climate conditions, specific method of production, storage conditions etc. In many parts of the world, climate change and its effects on aspects of terroir such as temperature, rainfall, is already causing tangible impacts on some production aspects critical to what brings distinctiveness and quality to GI products. These climate changes raise the question as to how aspects of terroir and the formalized rules of GIs can adapt when facing the disruptive force of climate change? In other words, what are GI's owners' possibilities to adapt their production, processing or storage methods to evolving climate conditions?
Limiting the impacts of climate change on agricultural products is a major challenge. The literature suggests that GIs owners are facing higher obstacles than non GIs owners in trying to resist or adapt to climate change due to the rigidity of GI system. GI Critics argue that the requirements imposed by GI legislations inhibit the potential range of measures to adapt GI products to climate changeand that "varietal substitutions and change of geographical area can't be easily achieved and even, in some cases, are prohibited" . They see GI system as too inflexible prejudicing producers' interests. A comparative study on climate change impacts and corresponding adaptive measures between a French GI for wine and a wine, McLaren Vale, from Australia, further concludes that GI is "very restrictive and discourage innovations about new grapes, wine making practices and geographical boundaries". "Though, these provisions will frame a certain quality and style of the wine without legal solutions for an adaptation to climate change. As a result, the registered French Protected Designation of Origin will disappear in the future".
If the GI is about identifying a stabilized, historically validated, recognized product and method of production, how their modifications induced by climate change (e.g. substituting a wine grape with another which is more resistant to heat, or enlarging a geographical area) can accommodate the requirements of tradition and authenticity and continue satisfying consumers? GI Critics further argue that claims made in GI applications to timeless tradition and know how are overstated, yet this neither exhaust nor respond the above argument.
The argument according to which GI system would inhibit or prohibit adaptations to climate change is not only an overstatement but it is also legally questionable. GIs are not rigid instruments which cement geographical areas and paralyze method of production endlessly. Like living organisms, GIs evolve, improve and adapt to new situations including to climate changes. For example, Article 53 of the EU Regulation No 1151/2012 Of The European Parliament And Of The Council Of 21 November 2012 On Quality Schemes For Agricultural Products And Foodstuffs allows to amend Protected Designation of Origin ("PDO") and Protected Geographical Indication ("PGI"). Under this Article, two types of amendments to GIs, minor and not minor, are available. Minor amendments are defined as changes of secondary importance to geographical indications (PDO and PGI) which shall not
"(a) relate to the essential characteristics of the product;
(b) alter the link referred to in point (f)(i) or (ii) of Article 7(1 ) ( link to the terroir)
(c) include a change to the name, or to any part of the name of the product;
(d) affect the defined geographical area; or
(e) represent an increase in restrictions on trade in the product or its raw materials. "
The EU Commission has repeatedly approved amendments to GIs based on climate change impacts and corresponding needs to adapt to them. The studied amendments refer to (i) change of a defined geographical area (ii) change of a method of production.
(i) Change of a defined geographical area
The Cornish Sardine Management Association ("CSAM") filed a non minor amendment to modify the geographical area of its PGI "Cornish Sardines"under Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No. 1151/2012.
CSAM's application for amendment states:
"update the practice of landing Cornish sardines. Due to the movement of the fish further east, and in the interests of maintaining fish quality standards it has become necessary to extend the geographical area to include the port of Plymouth for landing and processing purposes only, the catching area will remain unchanged, and refers to the sea areas of the new jurisdiction (district) of the Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation (CIFCA)."
"This change of practice in the industry has come about as a result of an eastward shift in the shoals of sardines. This eastward shift is likely to have come about due to ocean current changes fuelled by climate change. The temperature of the water eastwards has been on average 2 degrees centigrade warmer, according to Plymouth Marine Laboratories records from satellite and buoy recordings, which also show an increase in the zooplankton stock on which mature sardines feed. The delicate composition of the fish requires them to be landed and processed ashore quickly in order to maintain quality and high standards."
The amendment was approved by the EU Commission and published in the EU Commission Official Journal on 20/01/2017.
Map - extension of the defined geographical indication area of "Cornish Sardines"
Source: Official Journal of the European Union 30.5.201, L 139/2 - Publication of an amendment application pursuant to Article 50(2) point (a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs (2017/C 19/05).
(ii) Change of a method of production
The Consorzio Olio DOP Brisighella ("CODB") filed a request to amend the chemical characteristics of its PDO "Brisighella " under Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No. 1151/2012.
CODB's application for amendment invoques climate change:
"The oleic acid content has been decreased from 75 % to 74 %. Due to climate change, as illustrated by the report of the Regional Agency for Prevention, Environment and Energy in the Emilia Romagna region (ARPA), there has been a marked increase in temperature over recent years. From 1987 to 2012, there has been an average annual increase of approximately 0,07 °C per year, bringing the average annual temperature from 12,9 °C for the period 1987-1996 to 14,2 °C for the period 2007-2012. Taking the summer period in isolation, the increase in temperature observed varies from 22,3 °C to 24 °C and above (25,6 in 2012). These variations affect the phases in which the olive tree, after fruiting, starts the process of producing oil and biosynthesising the fatty acids. A hot climate can promote the desaturation of fatty acids, with the resulting increase in linoleic acid and the reduction of oleic acid […]."
The amendment was approved by the EU Commission and published in the EU Commission Official Journal on 24/06/2016.
The Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Protegida ‘Jamón de Huelva’ (now Jabugo) ("CRDOPJ") also filed an amendment to modify the chemical characteristics of its PDO ‘Jamón de Huelva’ under Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No. 1151/2012. In its request for amending the production method, the CRDOPJ explicitly mentions "climate change":
"The words ‘the pigs must arrive at the slaughterhouse at least 12 hours before slaughter’ have been replaced by the words ‘the pigs must arrive at the slaughterhouse with some time at least to rest before slaughter’. Adjustments have also been made to the relative humidity range at the salting stage and the ranges for temperature, relative humidity and duration at the resting stage, as climate change is leading to higher temperatures at the end of spring and the beginning of summer, which is why the product needs to be given more time to adjust gradually."
The amendment was approved by the EU Commission and published in the EU Commission Official Journal on 7/03/2017.
Those three EU Commission decisions confirm that amendments to GIs based on climate change is legally possible and contextually feasible. GI Critics may argue that the scope of the amendments is narrow. The first decision amends the processing geographical area of "Cornish Sardines", however the catching geographical area remain unaltered. The two other decisions (Brisighella and Jabugo) amend the chemical characteristics of the products without reductions in the specifications of quality and don’t seem to move away from traditional production practices. Amending GIs may result in conflicts among the relevant groups of producers holding rights to the GI area and invoke a negative reaction from consumers. Although adapting GIs to climate change represents a challenge, it is legally permissible.
2. Are there intersections between GIs, human rights and biodiversity suggesting that GIs could potentially be integrated within the climate change legal framework to benefit from adaptation and mechanisms provided under the PA?
If climate change makes a GI solely or even partially based on natural factors (Categories 1 & 2 in Table 1) no longer viable in its current form due, for example, to plentiful rainfall or temperature rises, its GI holder may investigate solutions on how to adapt. The need to adapt would more likely arise when the productivity of a GI declines substantially that revenues for the corresponding GI community are threatened. The PA provides mechanisms for adaptation to climate changes including a dedicated financing system under notably the Green Fund. The PA is highly reflective of the processes by which climate change adaptation and mitigation discourse has evolved from biophysical to human rights considerations. Its Preamble echoes a widening discourse by acknowledging the interaction between climate change and human rights:
"Acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind, Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity."
The framing of human rights within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change first appeared in the Preamble to the Cancun Agreement (2010), which makes reference to Resolution 10/4 of the Human Rights Council. These developments have resulted in an expanding zone of intersection between climate change and human rights. The explicit references to "human rights"," local communities", "the rights of indigenous peoples" and "the right to development" in the PA suggest that the protection of GIs against climate change impacts could potentially be integrated within the climate change legal framework. GIs, as social and cultural constructs, are a potential vector for addressing local and indigenous communities' needs and achieving cultural heritage preservation suggesting an affinity with human rights, since cultural rights are a clearly established category in international human rights law. The first instrument adopted by the United Nations which enumerates cultural rights was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948.
In Article 27, it provides:
"(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author."
The PA's Preamble also refers to the protection of biodiversity:
"Noting the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans, and the protection of biodiversity, recognized by some cultures as Mother Earth, and noting the importance for some of the concept of "climate justice", when taking action to address climate change."
The Convention on biological Diversity of 1992 defines "Biological diversity" as:
"The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems."
A GI scheme can also help protecting important elements of biodiversity, for instance traditional methods and recipes, endangered animal breeds, or indigenous plants, vegetables.
The PA provides a further opportunity to protect and adapt GIs to climate change as part of the capacity-building and financial assistance for adaptation under Article 7, paragraph 1 with the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). By pursuing a decentralized, country-driven process, bottom up approach to determining adaptation needs and priorities, the INDCs encourage adaptation commitments that are contextually relevant and politically realistic which is best addressing what GI owners would need. Furthermore, decision 1/CP.21 explicitly recognizes the need to mobilize and cooperate with non-state actors such as cities, local communities, Indigenous peoples, businesses, and civil society which allow to include GI owners, whether public, semi-public organizations or private associations. This pressure may help hold states accountable to adaptation priorities and climate financing commitments stated in the INDCs and so help achieve the adaptation goal set out in the Paris Agreement in the contexts of GIs, especially those emanating from indigenous communities.
This article first considered the extent to which aspects of terroir based GIs are vulnerable to climate changes and are able to adapt to them. Both at the procedural level – can registered GIs be amended? – and at the substantive level – can GIs benefit from adaptation mechanisms under the PA? there are opportunities for shaping and supporting GIs to climate change. As an expression of cultural heritage, GI is strongly related to the place and time where it takes place, and it is continuously evolved. Innovation and adaptation to climate change is possible as long as the authenticity, and not antiquity, of the GI products is not altered. The emergence of human rights and biodiversity arguments to protect GIs against the impacts of climate change is a relatively new and dynamic consideration which has not yet been discussed in international GI protection and climate change debates. GIs have historically been protected for reasons which are similar to those justifying trade mark protection, namely signs providing information in the marketplace, as Article 22.1 of the TRIPS Agreement makes clear. By expanding the zone of intersection between GIs, human rights and biodiversity within the PA and relying on mechanisms for adapting to climate change, GI vulnerability could be framed as a global challenge for ensuring human well-being along multiple dimensions.
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 As Berard et al. (2005, p. 2) state, terroir is a spatial and ecological concept that “links actors, their histories, their social organizations, their activities, and most importantly, their agricultural practices.”
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 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are designations of origin for wine. The boundaries of a given AVA are established by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in the U.S. Treasury Department. https://www.ttb.gov/wine/ava.shtml [Accessed on November 2017].
 As an example of the requirements for a product, whether wine or not, to receive a geographical indication designation, the EU Guide to Applicants (Regulation (EC) No 1151/2012) is illustrative: "The product should demonstrate in what way its characteristics are due to the geographical area and what the natural, human and other elements are which give its specificity to the product. Identify and describe the characteristics of the defined geographical area relevant to the link. These may include the pedoclimatic features; topography, climate, soil, rainfall, exposure, altitude, etc."
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 Parakram Rautelal (2011) "Global warming may rob basmati of its fragrance" https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Global-warming-may-rob-basmati-of-its-fragrance/articleshow/7387659.cms [Accessed on November 2017]. An experiment conducted on Tarawari basmati rice by Indian agriculture scientists points to the negative impact of global warming on the rice's distinct fragrance and also rice's length. The extra heat prevented the food stored by the plant from travelling to the grain. Consequently, it failed to grow to the right length. The heat also destroyed fatty acids stored in the grain which give the basmati its distinct fragrance when cooked.
 Aglio di Voghiera's Book of Specifications.
 Champagne's Book of Specifications.
 Cornelis Van Leeuwen and Philippe Darriet "The Impact of Climate Change on Viticulture and Wine Quality" Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 11, Number 1, 2016, Pages 150–167.
 “Adaptation options are likely to include a move away from traditional production practices, reductions in the specifications of quality, and altering the geographic scope of the GI designation. Given that the rationale for granting the GI is based on the unique properties of the underlying terroir, those granting the designation may question the new justification and, given that consumers associate the GI with certain attributes, there may be resistance to altering the existing legal specification” ; “Climate change poses two intertwined threats to viticulture. The first threat is biophysical. That is, changing climatic conditions could adversely alter viticulture in the world's great growing regions. The second threat is a legal one that stems from the first-if climate change erodes the ability of present-day appellations to continue to produce the wines protected by the INAO regime, then the legal rigidity of the AOP designation becomes its own downfall.” ; "If the appellation regime is meant to protect geographies standing alone in time, then this is the end of the story. But if the appellation regime is meant to protect producers and consumers by encouraging spatially (and therefore quantitatively) limited production of high quality and regionally distinct wine and allowing consumers to choose wines based on such quality and character, then long-term durability of appellations requires introducing flexibility into the law."
 "If the appellation regime is meant to protect geographies standing alone in time, then this is the end of the story. But if the appellation regime is meant to protect producers and consumers by encouraging spatially (and therefore quantitatively) limited production of high quality and regionally distinct wine and allowing consumers to choose wines based on such quality and character, then long-term durability of appellations requires introducing flexibility into the law."
 “Climate change poses two intertwined threats to viticulture. The first threat is biophysical. That is, changing climatic conditions could adversely alter viticulture in the world's great growing regions. The second threat is a legal one that stems from the first-if climate change erodes the ability of present-day appellations to continue to produce the wines protected by the INAO regime, then the legal rigidity of the AOP designation becomes its own downfall.”
 Ashenfelter O., and Storchmann K. "The economics of wine, weather, and climate change." Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 10(1), 25–46 "unless the appellation rules in the EU are loosened and planting rights are abolished, its wine producers are likely to be one of the losers from climate change."
 Anne-Laure Lereboullet "How do Geographical Indications interact with the adaptive capacity and resilience of viticultural systems facing global change?" Conference: Conference: XXVth Congress of the European Society of Rural Sociology, At Florence, Italy, Volume: pp. 331-332.
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 Official Journal of the European Union, Publication of an application for approval of a minor amendment in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 53(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(2016/C 228/04) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1511422074332&uri=CELEX:52016XC0624(02) [Accessed on November 2017].
 Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/385 of 2 March 2017 approving non-minor amendments to the specification for a name entered in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications (Jamón de Huelva (PDO) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1511422445882&uri=CELEX:32017R0385 [Accessed on November 2017].
 "Furthermore, the following have been deleted: The value of the oleic/linoleic acid ratio, which in the specification in force has to be within the range of 10 to 20: reducing the value of oleic acid inevitably affects this ratio; The values of the campesterol/stigmasterol ratio, which have to be within 1,7 and 1,4 and of the campesterol/Delta 5 avenasterol ratio, which has to be within 0,25 and 0,60. These ratios were designed to act as parameters used to guarantee the origin of the oil, but today these parameters no longer ensure the origin and quality of Brisighella extra virgin olive oil PDO."
 Paris Agreement, see supra note no. 3.
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 http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ [Accessed on November 2017].
 https://www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cbd-en.pdf [Accessed on November 2017].
 "Parties hereby establish the global goal on adaptation of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response in the context of the temperature goal referred to in Article 2."
 https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/10a01.pdf [Accessed on November 2017].
 "Geographical indications are, for the purposes of this Agreement, indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin" [emphasis added].