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plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - FAO

Given the high level of

Given the high level of interdependence among countries with respect to the conservation and use of PGRFA, it is imperative that there be strong and extensive international cooperation. Good progress has been made in this area since the first SoW report was published. A number of new regional networks on PGRFA have been established and a few others have become stronger. However, not all have fared well. Several are largely inactive and one has ceased to function. Three new regional networks specifically addressing the issue of seed production, have been established in Africa. FAO has further strengthened its activities in PGRFA since the first Sow report, for example, through establishing GIPB in 2006. The international centres of the CGIAR concluded agreements in 2006 with FAO, acting on behalf of the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA, in this way bringing their collections within the ITPGRFA’s multilateral system of access and benefit sharing. The CGIAR itself is undergoing significant reform. There have also been many other new international initiatives including the establishment of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in 1999, the Central Asia and the Caucasus Association of Agriculture Research Institution (CACAARI) and the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) in 2000, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in 2002, the Global Cacao Genetic Resources Network (CacaoNet) in 2006, and the Crops for the Future and the SGSV in 2008. All have significant activities in PGRFA. In the area of funding, several new foundations now support international activities with regard to PGRFA. A special fund was set up in 1998 to support agricultural research in Latin America (FONTAGRO) and in 2004, the GCDT was established as an essential element of the funding strategy of the ITPGRFA. 7 Access to plant genetic resources, the sharing of benefits arising out of their utilization and the realization of Farmers’ Rights The international and national legal and policy framework for access and benefit sharing (ABS) has changed substantially since the publication of the first SoW report. Perhaps the most far-reaching development has been the entry into force of the ITPGRFA in 2004. The ITPGRFA established a Multilateral System of ABS that facilitates access to plant genetic resources of the most important crops for food security, on the basis of a Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA). As of February 2010, there were 123 parties to the ITPGRFA. The FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture adopted a Multi-Year Programme of Work in 2007 that recommended that “FAO continue to focus on ABS for genetic resources for food and agriculture in an integrated and interdisciplinary manner…” Negotiations under the CBD to develop an international regime on ABS are scheduled to be finalized in 2010. However, many issues remain to be settled, including the legal status of the regime. Discussions on matters related to ABS are also taking place in other fora such as the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Council (TRIPS), the World International Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). There is a need for greater coordination among the different bodies involved in these discussions at the national and international levels. In February 2010, the CBD Database on ABS Measures listed 33 countries with legislation regulating ABS. Of these, 22 have adopted new laws or regulations since 2000. Most have xxiii

een developed in response to the CBD rather than the ITPGRFA. Many countries have expressed a desire for assistance in confronting the complex legal and technical issues involved in drawing up new legislation. So far, there are few models that can be emulated and several countries are experimenting with new ways of protecting and rewarding traditional knowledge and the realization of Farmers’ Rights. 8 The contribution of PGRFA to food security and sustainable agricultural development Sustainable development has grown from being a movement focusing mainly on environmental concerns, to a widely recognized framework that aims to balance economic, social, environmental and intergenerational concerns in decision-making and action at all levels. There have been growing efforts to strengthen the relationship between agriculture and the provision of ecosystem services. Schemes that promote Payment for Environmenal Services (PES), such as the in situ or on-farm conservation of PGRFA, are being set up in an attempt to encourage and reward farmers and rural communities for their stewardship of the environment. However, the fair and effective implementation of such schemes remains a major challenge. Concerns about the potential impact of climate change have grown substantially over the past decade. Agriculture is both a source and a sink for atmospheric carbon. PGRFA are recognized as being critically important for the development of farming systems that capture more carbon and emit fewer greenhouse gasses, and for underpinning the breeding of new varieties that will be needed for agriculture to adapt to the anticipated future environmental conditions. Given the time needed to breed a new crop variety, it is essential that additional plant breeding capacity be built now. There is a need for more accurate and reliable measures, standards, indicators and baseline data for sustainability and food security that will enable better monitoring and assessment of the progress made in these areas. Standards and indicators that will enable the monitoring of the specific role played by PGRFA are needed particularly. In spite of the enormous contribution by PGRFA to global food security and sustainable agriculture, its role is not widely recognized or understood. Greater efforts are needed to estimate the full value of PGRFA, to assess the impact of its use and to bring this information to the attention of policy-makers and the general public so as to help generate the resources needed to strengthen programmes for its conservation and use. xxiv

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    Appendix 4 State of diversity of ma

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    APPENDIX 4 FIGURE A4.5 Global yield

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    338 APPENDIX 4 are also conserved.

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    WCMC World Conservation Monitoring

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